Sunday, January 16, 2011
Fishing at Trout Lake, Michigan
Carp (Big Trout) Lake covers 560 acres, and combined with Little Trout Lake (joined by a short channel next to Birch Lodge), offers about a square mile of potential fishing. The majority of the lake is over 20 feet deep, with extensive shelves of 10 feet and less, and depths ranging to 35 feet. All in all, there is a variety of habitat to make fish - and fishermen - happy.
The first documented stocking of fry and fingerling walleye in the lake dates back to the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934, and continued through 1946. Blue gill and large mouth bass were stocked between 1948 and 1950. In 1974 the MDNR placed 16,000 square feet of rock reefs in shallow water near the north and northeast shorelines to enhance walleye spawning and nursery habitat. Cliff and Ann Badgley allowed them to improve the woods trail to the Birch Lodge swimming beach to access the lake. Releases continued during the 1970s; through the 1980s the MDNR planted walleye eight times; more recently, between 1996 and 2001 nearly 40,000 1½-to-2 inch fish were released. The habitat and planting was successful, and the MDNR ceased stocking the lake after they determined the walleye population was self-sustaining.
Word from anglers is that walleyes, northern pike, small mouth bass and pan fish (perch, bluegill, rock bass) are all taken in good numbers, and the MDNR states seasonal migrants into the lake include brown trout from the Carp River, and steelhead and salmon from Lake Huron. Fishing has always been a “lure” at the lodge, as evidenced by vintage photos of happy anglers and mounted “lunkers” that grace the lobby. From the lodge we’ve seen eagles fish the lake, and even saw one take his catch up into a nearby pine, only to drop it – another one that “got away.”