Aylen Lake, Balfour Lake, Bark
Lake, Bay Lake, Cashel Lake, Diamond Lake, Faraday Lake,
Galeairy Lake, Holland Lake, Jamieson Lake, Kamaniskeg
Lake, Lake St. Peter, L'Amable Lake, Lavellee Lake,
Limerick Lake, Limestone Lake, Little Mayo Lake, Long
Lake, Lower Hay Lake, Lower Paudash Lake, Mayo Lake,
McCauley Lake, McKenzie Lake, Mephisto Lake, Mink Lake,
Papineau Lake, Purdy Lake, Weslemkoon Lake, Wollaston
Salvelinus, an old name for
char, from the same root as the German, Saibling, (little
namaycush, a native American name, said to mean "tyrant
of the lakes". Compare with the Ojibwe namê,
"sturgeon", and namégoss, "trout"
Common Name from its preferred habitat
Other common names include: Forktail Trout, Great Lakes
Trout, Grey Trout, Lake Char, Laker, Laker Trout, Land-locked
Salmon, Mackinaw, Mackinaw Trout, Mountain Trout, Namaycush,
Salmon Trout, Togue, Togue Trout, Touladi, Truite grise,
truite de lac, omble gris (Qué), Canadaröding
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Order Salmoniformes, salmon and trout
Family Salmonidae, salmon and trout
Genus Salvelinus, the chars
A swift, torpedo-shaped fish
of deep, cold waters and perhaps the most prized catch
in Canoe Country.
- known to exceed 4'
Typically 3-9 lbs - known to
exceed 100 lbs
the least colorful of the trouts
light green or grey, dark green, brown or almost black
with irregular, lighter colored spots light underside
leading edges of pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins are
reddish-orange with a narrow whitish margin, during
the fall spawning season, the fins near the tail become
a pale orange.
moderately elongated shape tail deeply forked
Large well developed teeth
on jaws, tongue, and roof of mouth
Long-lived, the largest fish
being 20 or more years old does not reach sexual maturity
until 8-10 years of age
Two distinguishing features
are its tail, which is deeply forked, and its colour
which generally is dappled.
Prefers water temperatures of
around 50º F., but will venture into warmer water
on occasion. Hence, it is restricted to still waters
of large, deep lakes and reservoirs and some large streams
(although in the Northwest Territories it is also found
in shallow tundra lakes). Inhabits deep waters (60'-300')
Least tolerant of salt water of all the chars.
Predaceous, feeding upon crustaceans,
insects, many species of fish, and even small mammals.
Young lake trout feed on plankton, insects, freshwater
shrimp, and other aquatic invertebrates.
Larger lake trout typically eat other species of fish,
mostly Lake Whitefish and Cisco(Tullibee).
Feeds near the surface of a lake when the water is cold
(spring and fall). During the summer, the cold denser
water sinks to the bottom of the lake and the trout
follow it down.
For more than half a century,
the most valuable commercial fish in the Upper Great
Lakes. Then overfishing and the onslaught of the sea
lamprey from the late 1930s and into the 1950s effectively
eliminated this fish from most of the lakes. With control
of the lamprey, population levels are rebounding.
Largest on record weighed 46.3 kg and measured 126 cm.,
taken with a gillnet from Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan,
World Record (angling): 66 lbs, 8 oz, from the Great
Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, on May 27, 1993
by Rodney Harback.
Minnesota Record: 43lbs, 8oz, from Lake Superior (Cook
One of the largest of the freshwater
fish, it is endowed with a flesh of superb eating quality
and is eagerly sought by commercial, sport, and subsistence
fishermen. The flesh may be white, pink, orange or orange-red,
the color being influenced by the diet.
Anglers catch this species in surface waters very early
in the spring by fly or spin fishing. As the surface
waters warm up, these fish retire to deep water. Anglers
who seek this fish during the summer months must use
long lines and heavy lures to fish in the deep waters.
Only in far northern (i.e., Canadian) lakes are they
caught in surface waters during the summer.
Commercial fishermen catch lake trout winter and summer
using gillnets. Largest production comes from the lakes
of northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
Lake Trout are solitary and
do not school or congregate except during spawning season.
Lake Trout spawn at night in late autumn in inland lakes
up to depths of 40', over large cobble and boulder substrates..
The female lays 400-1200 eggs and hatching occurs 4-5
Lake Trout do not build beds but simply scatters eggs
among the rocks. Males do not defend territories, unlike
males of other species of trout and salmon.
Lake Trout grow very slowly, and often don't mature
until they are 8-10 years of age. Because of this late
age of spawning, heavy fishing pressure can seriously
deplete lake trout populations.