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Brook Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout inhabit various stretches of the Boyne River.There is also a good run of Steelhead in the spring and an excellent run of naturally reproducing salmon in the fall.
Brook Trout, the native fish of the rivers in Northwestern Michigan, are found in both the North Branch and the South Branch where they naturally reproduce. They are small in size ranging from 6 to 9 inches in length. A Brook Trout longer than 10 inches is extremely rare. The river below the Boyne USA power plant does not hold Brook Trout. The habitat is unsuitable probably because of higher water temperatures during the heat of summer. If one is found below the dam it is likely one that has come over the spillway from above.
Brown Trout are found throughout the BoyneRiver system in both the North and South Branches and the Main Stream. Brown Trout are sometimes stocked below the Boyne USA power plant dam but natural reproduction occurs where ever spawning gravel is available. The fish run small in the headwaters. A fish of 14 inches would be considered exceptional. Large trophy size browns are sometimes caught below the dam especially at night during the hex hatch.
In recent years, Rainbow Trout seem to be limited to the Main Branch below the dam. Young Steelhead are sometimes stocked by theDNRand there is some natural reproduction during the spring Steelhead run. Years ago Rainbows were frequently caught in the branches resulting from stocking. There has been no stocking for several years and the Rainbows have vanished. Evidently the strains that were stocked above the dam are unable to reproduce.