Bringing Back the Brook Trout

Brook trout get a bad rap out West for being an invasive species introduced by anglers in the early twentieth century without the foresight of the effects that brook trout can have on an ecosystem. As a result, brookies are often vilified as the primary cause of declining indigenous western trout populations. For example, The Poisoning of Soda Butte Creek in Montana was a targeted effort to kill every fish in the river, solely for the purpose of eradicating invasive brook trout. This poisoning was a government backed effort to protect the genetic purity of the endangered Yellowstone Cutthroat trout, and took place this past September amongst a lot of controversy.

What many people don’t realize is that while the brook trout is invasive out West, brookies have also been outcompeted by introduced rainbow and brown trout on their home waters in the eastern US. This video from Freshwaters Illustrated documents how some community leaders in the southeast United States are trying to give the beautiful Southern Appalachian Brook trout a fighting chance in their native waters. It delivers a multi-layered and heart warming message behind many stunning shots of the Southern Appalachian brook trout it in it’s native habitat.

Pat Clayton

Colorado Brook Trout by Pat Clayton