2018-06-28 / Outdoors

Leelanau’s forgotten fishery: brown trout

It’s a little late for this year, but the most underutilized fishery in Leelanau County may be within casting distance of the western shoreline.

That’s where brown trout are targeted after ice-out in shallow water with long lines and planer boards that steer lures away from the wake of a boat.

“It’s really worthwhile taking a small boat out and fishing the shoreline,” said Heather Hettinger, district fish biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “That’s what the fishery is based on.”

Unfortunately, though, few anglers took advantage of the resource. She said a state creel surveyor stationed at the Glen Arbor Township boat launch had few people to survey this spring.

Those browns will be showing up as incidental catches for fishers targeting salmon and lake trout this summer.

In 2017, the DNR planted 15,700 browns in Glen Arbor and 20,000 in the Leland Harbor. This spring the state planted 16,500 in Glen Arbor, 20,200 brown trout in the Leland Harbor and 3,000 in Empire.

“We’re stocking good numbers of brown trout right now,” Hettinger said.

Return to top