Brook Trout Management Plan
In the summer of 2001, a decision was made to undertake the development of a Management Plan for Lake Superior Coaster Brook Trout. Nipigon Bay and its tributaries are the last remaining stronghold of what was once a widespread and abundant population of Brook Trout in Lake Superior. The decline of these stocks coincided with the expansion of human influence in the 1900's.
Over fishing, damming of migration routes, pollution, barrier introduction at road and railways and questionable forestry practices have pushed stocks to the brink of extinction in all but a Nipigon Bay and a handful of tributaries. Concerned anglers and MNR have formed a Lake Superior Brook Trout Committee to look at options for stopping and reversing the decline of Brook Trout populations and the fishery that depends on healthy stocks.
In order to accomplish this, the first priority must be to protect the remaining stock from over harvest. NSSA has come to the table with support for a lake-wide harvest restriction of one fish larger than a minimum size: this size is to be determined based upon the best information of the day, and must ensure that the stock is allowed to recover and repopulate historic areas.
This is a lofty goal, and obviously will not be achieved solely thru harvest restrictions, but the immediate concern is to protect the relatively few fish that remain, and to give the species hope for recovery. Further management strategies will be employed as the plan is developed - this is a current and ongoing process.