Lake Trout

By Bill and Lori Jollymore's In Species
Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) is a freshwater char living mainly in lakes in northern North America. Other names for it include mackinaw, lake char (or charr), touladi, togue, and grey trout. In Lake Superior, they can also be variously known as siscowet, paperbellies and leans. Lake trout are prized both as game fish and as food fish.

Lake trout are the largest of the chars, the record weighing almost 46.3 kg (102 lb).

Lake trout inhabit cold, oxygen-rich waters. They are pelagic during the period of summer stratification in dimictic lakes often living at depths of 20–60 m (60–200 ft).

The lake trout is a slow growing fish. It is also very late to mature. Many native lake trout populations have been severely damaged through the combined effects of hatchery stocking (planting) and overharvest. Lake trout have been known, very rarely, to hybridize in nature with the brook trout but such hybrids, known as”splake” are almost invariably reproductively sterile. Splake are also artificially propagated in hatcheries and then planted into lakes in an effort to provide sport fishing opportunities.

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