Area Trout Lakes in Good Shape for Winter Season

December 28 , 2006

The winter trout-fishing season begins January 13, 2007, and is eagerly anticipated by many area anglers. "Trout stocking last spring and this fall should give anglers plenty of opportunity," explains Jeff Tillma, DNR fisheries specialist in Grand Rapids. Most area trout lakes are stocked annually with either fingerling (2-3 inch) or yearling (6-8 inch) trout. The size and species of trout stocked depends on what works best for each lake.

“There are some great opportunities for brown trout right now,” says Tillma. “Nickel Lake was recently stocked with some larger fish and a survey this fall also found some nice browns in Lucky Lake.” Larson, Kremer, and Bee Cee lakes are a few other lakes with brown trout. Splake, which are a cross between brook trout and lake trout are more catchable than brown trout and give anglers a chance at catching a true trophy.

Splake are regularly stocked in Kremer, Erskine, and Larson lakes. Larson Lake is especially notable because the state record splake of more than 13 pounds was caught there a few years ago.

"Rainbow trout are the bread and butter trout species for many lakes. They are easy to raise in hatcheries, survive well, and are relatively easy to catch," says Tillma. Bee Cee Lake, Moonshine Lakes, Tioga Pit, Larue Pit, and several mine pits northeast of Grand Rapids are good places to try.

Lake trout are stocked in a few lakes. They can be difficult to catch, but skilled anglers often catch fish between 2 to 4 pounds and sometimes much larger. Canisteo Pit and Trout, Caribou, and Bluewater lakes are regularly stocked with lake trout. Pokegama Lake is stocked when state hatcheries have surplus lake trout available. “Pokegama has been stocked more frequently in the last couple years,” said Tillma. "In fact this year it was stocked twice, giving anglers a good chance to catch lake trout close to town."

Many of our trout lakes are designated trout lakes, which means anglers need a trout stamp, can only use one line, and cannot use live bait. For lakes that have trout, but are not designated lakes, general statewide rules apply with the exception that anglers still need a trout stamp to possess trout. For additional information on trout fishing opportunities in the Grand Rapids area contact the Area Fisheries Office at (218) 327-4430 or e-mail

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