Since as early as 1900, efforts have been made to bolster the coaster population around the Lake Superior basin largely through the stocking of various strains of brook trout. Because of continued pressures from commercial and recreational fishing, habitat loss and competition from non-native species, these efforts met with only limited success. In the mid-1990s renewed efforts began to re-establish the coasters. Because of the active involvement of Trout Unlimited and its state councils and chapters, TU became the only private organization involved with the members of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to develop a guiding plan in 1999 for the rehabilitation of the coaster titled, "A Brook Trout Rehabilitation Plan for Lake Superior."
(Click on a project name for a detailed description)
Restoring coaster brook trout to the Lake Superior ecosystem will take concerted efforts. This includes protecting remnant populations and their associated habitats, implementing necessary regulations to protect from overharvest, reintroducing coasters back into portions of their historic range and researching the ecology and life history of coasters to better understand the fish itself.
Due to the migratory nature of the brook trout and the recent discovery that some coaster populations are lake-spawning, rehabilitation efforts have to be conducted across the entire Lake Superior basin. Efforts can be found on State Lands, National Lakeshores, National Forests, and Tribal Reservation Lands. Lakewide projects currently underway involve the assessment and identification of remaining populations and habitats, spawning ground and channel restoration, fish reintroduction projects and research. These efforts were greatly enhanced by a two-year grant awarded in 2003 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. As you will see from the projects represented across Lake Superior they are truly a collaborative effort and tremendous steps have been taken to bring back the coaster.