Bringing Brook Trout Back to the Credit River

Fish in hands

If you’ve ever seen a brook trout in the Credit River, you know they’re a beautiful sight. Brook trout are the only native trout in the Credit River. This sensitive species requires cold, clean streams to survive. Recently, CVC ecologists gained access to monitor an unsampled tributary in Caledon. We were pleasantly surprised when we found a new brook trout population.   

Brook trout have beautiful red and blue spots on a dark background.

Why is this so exciting? Brook trout populations are declining in Ontario and their range in the Credit River is very patchy. This is partly due to the number of impassable dams. Brook trout are restricted to over 45 isolated and mostly small patches of stream in the Credit River and its tributaries. Some areas may be less than one km long and brook trout have no way to move to other suitable habitat. This is problematic because they need cold water and to be able to freely move to find refuge when the water gets too warm.

We’re working with partners and landowners to restore brook trout populations, their habitat and aquatic life across the Credit River Watershed. These restoration projects focus on:

  • Removing barriers such as dams or weirs
  • Planting trees to increase shade and habitat
  • Narrowing over-widened streams to reduce water temperature

By reconnecting and restoring habitat, species like brook trout are better able to adapt to warming water as our climate changes. Our goal is to increase the available habitat for brook trout and other sensitive species by working with local landowners and partners.

On average, a brook trout lives two to three years.

With this new discovery and future restoration work, brook trout will have a little more habitat to call home. We would not be able to have moments of discovery like this without collaborations with residents like you. We all have a role to play in protecting and stewarding the land and the wildlife that lives here.

Do you want to get involved in protecting fish in the Credit River Watershed? Contact us if you would like to be a steward of your stream and help the brookies!

By CVC’s Jessie Spasov, Technician, Aquatic Restoration

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