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South Pine brook trout are surviving and thriving in Iowa DNR's reintroduction program

Posted: Wed, Apr 11, 2018 9:15 AM
Left: Fingerling brook trout on the day of stocking. Right: Brook trout sampled after living in the stream for 10 months. Brook trout adults typically range from 6-13 inches in length, with some reaching up to 16 inches.

A program to reintroduce native South Pine brook trout into a tributary of the Yellow River in southern Winneshiek County is being called a success.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources staffers stocked fingerling brook trout last spring, then returned to the stream this spring to see if the young brook trout were surviving. Not only were the trout found, they had also tripled in size.

The stream is scheduled to be stocked again later this spring and will be sampled in the summer of 2019 to see if the trout are reproducing.

Iowa State University graduate student Brett Kelly will be researching the streams and fish of Clayton, Winneshiek, and Allamakee Counties, looking at what species are found. Given that a majority of land is privately- owned, access to the streams is optional but greatly appreciated. Stream surveys last only a few hours and access would only be needed once. No mandatory changes to the land will result from his research. For information about Brett's research, contact him at 864-941-7298 or by email at