October 15, 2012

Brook Trout Numbers Down!!!

I have log books all the way back to 1976 on my trout fishing exploits. I did an end of the year review of 2012 and compared it to the last 5 years. The numbers were astonishing.

 For the last three years the brook trout population in my fishing area went down. I fish the Southwestern corner of Wisconsin.  The counties I frequent are Vernon, Crawford, Richland and Grant counties.  The most significant  numbers change was seen in Crawford County.  This county had a 65 percent decline in brook trout numbers in the last three years.

I have been in contact with professionals from the state and asked them if they had seen the same decline.  They reported a decline also.  They attributed the decline to the recent drought and to a parasite called gill lice.  The state DNR folks also said that some brook trout streams may have been taken over by brown trout.  They compete for the same waterways.  Matt Mitro from the state said the Fall shocking crews are out there and will report on any declines in populations and also the water levels.

The odd thing I gleaned from my log books was a significant increase in the brown trout populations in the last three years. I will get back with the readers with the WDNR's information they accumulate this Fall when they forward it to me.