Trout In The Classroom
Trout in the Classroom is an environmental education program that teaches conservation and ecology to elementary school students. Trout are raised in the classroom and then the fingerlings are released into local streams and rivers.
The Ultimate Nature Experience (T.U.N.E.) is an outdoor summer camp experience for middle school girls and boys. Youths participate in outdoor activities and acquire new skills while also learning about conservation and ecology.
Fishing Skills Program
Want to learn how to fly fish? TCTU hosts youth and family fishing programs around the Twin Cities metro area. Spend a few hours having fun while learning how to tie flies and cast. Check our calendar for upcoming events!
Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo
Led by Minnesota Trout Unlimited, The Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo is the largest annual fly fishing event in the upper Midwest. This community event welcomes every fishing enthusiast – from beginners to experienced anglers.
Native to Europe and Asia, the brown trout was introduced to Minnesota in the early 1900s. Found throughout the eastern and central portions of the state, they can be identified by their square tail, streamlined body, and dark spots overlaid on a brown or golden background.
In many places throughout the Driftless region, brown trout are able to reproduce naturally, but in other areas, the fish must still be stocked. Hatchery brown trout have been selectively bred in the area to improve genetics.
Brown trout begin to reproduce around two or three years of age when females dig out redds in the gravel bottoms of streams or rivers. The female lays eggs that the male comes by to fertilize, and the eggs are then covered by the female with gravel. This typically happens in the fall, and the eggs hatch a few months later in winter.
The brook trout is a member of the char family and is native to Minnesota, making it one of only two native trout (along with lake trout) in the state. A brook trout is identified by its dark brown to green body, with a distinctive marbled pattern of lighter spots across the back and flank. The belly and lower fins are often red in color, with white leading edges on the lower fins.
In the Driftless Region, brook trout are most commonly found near the headwaters of our streams and rivers where the water is often colder and more oxygenated. In fact, the fate of brook trout is often an early indicator of the overall quality of the stream itself. As water warms due to urbanization, groundwater pumping, or stormwater runoff, the brookies often find the water too warm to survive.
When it comes to natural reproduction, brook trout seek out shallow, cold, well-oxygenated sections of the stream. The female digs out a redd while depositing the eggs, and a nearby male releases milt. The female then churns the red with its tail, and the fertilized eggs are covered with a light coating of gravel until they hatch in early spring.
Rainbow trout were introduced to Minnesota by way of the western United States. The river-bound rainbow is identified by the pinkish stripe running down its side, the numerous small spots on its body, and its overall blue-green tint.
Rainbow trout are able to withstand slightly higher temperatures than brook trout. Still, rainbows are cold-water fish and cannot survive a river that reaches temperatures over 65 degrees for any prolonged time period.
Unlike brookies and browns, rainbows typically begin to spawn in early spring. The females dig a redd in the river bottom, and the eggs are fertilized by the males. The eggs remain there until they hatch sometime in July. Most rainbow trout need to be 1-5 years old to begin spawning.
The steelhead of Lake Superior spend most of their time in the chilly waters of the lake before returning to their birthplace in the stream to breed. In many instances, rivers have become impassable due to man-made obstructions. It’s become common for the DNR or other organizations to install fish ladders, which allow the fish to move past the obstructions and spawn.