Schoolcraft County The School of Fish in the UP

August 22, 2019

Schoolcraft County The School of Fish in the UP

The MUVE Team

There’s more to just walleye, trout, and salmon in Schoolcraft. With 10 other fish species in 37 warm water lakes, rivers, and streams, it’s a big school – a university of fish in this Upper Michigan county. 

The force of attraction is ever so strong to both the fish and its catchers when three Great Lakes, hundreds of inland rivers, lakes and ponds abound in the Upper Peninsula. And Schoolcraft county has bragging rights to the schools of King Salmon and Steelhead that they even have an annual fishing derby

In Manistique, at the end of a walk down the 2-mile boardwalk along Lake Michigan is the East Breakwater Lighthouse and a fishing pier. You can see the steelheads jumping out of the water multiple times once hooked to your line.

Lake Trout, Brook, Rainbow and Brown trout are also in abundance in Schoolcraft’s 4 lakes and 7 trout streams. The Trout Lakes where Rainbows and Brooks play include Lake Banana, Lake Nineteen, Neds, and Twilight. The last two is covered by the Department of Natural Resources wilderness regulations and fishing guide.

Manistique, located on Lake Michigan, is the throne of King Salmon. Large salmon never fail to bring the excitement into fishing.

Fishing in summer starts in June and there’s still plenty of steelhead and salmon to catch through September. Ice-fishing also never goes out of style in Manistique.

In Schoolcraft, there are the “Trout Streams” with schools of Brook and brown trout in a number of sections. There’s the best fishing ground for brooks and browns in upstream Little Indian River. But these species are also downstream in Big Murphy Creek. Only brown trout can be found in Branch Stutts Creek, where there is a nearby campground.

For those fishing enthusiasts who only eye the walleye, DNR’s Fish Stocking Database shows that from July to September thousands of them will be in Schoolcraft County. You can find them in the Clear Lake, Indian Lake, Petes Lake and Triangle (Martha) Lake. There are also walleye in warm water lakes such as Boot, Steuben and Thunder.

There are warm water lake fishing opportunities in 37 Schoolcraft inland waters that can yield other fish species aside from trout, walleye, and salmon. Here’s a look at what fish are in which lake:

Boat access to those fishing grounds vary. Some are back-in, improved with gravel or paving, while others are unimproved and may require 4-wheel drive. But Manistique Marina as jump off point to some of those rich fishing grounds is accessible, where there is also a lakeshore campground.

Some lakeshore campsites in and around those fishing areas are developed, while there are those that may require a permit.

But before you head out to go fishing, make sure you have a fishing license. In Michigan, the licenses can be obtained from the DNR at varying costs for residents and non-residents. But for seniors (Residents 65 or older) or residents who are legally blind, the annual fee is at $11. A fishing regulation guide book comes with the license. 

There are prescribed limits for size, and possession and it varies between waters and seasons. For more information visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr or visit the Hiawatha website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha to get your fishing maps and guides.