Fishing Ontario Canada


Distribution in the Local Area:

Albion Lake, Buck Lake NL, Coghlan Lake, Grassy Lake, Splake, Monkshood Lake, North Lake, Oxbend Lake, Sandox Lake, Sleeper Green Lake, Snow Lake,


Other names - (wendigo)
The splake is difficult to identify externally because it resembles different aspects of both parents. The body shape is intermediate between the heavier lake trout and the slimmer brook trout. The shape of the tail is also intermediate. It is not as deeply forked as that of the lake trout, and more closely resembles the slightly indented tail of the brook trout. In coloration and markings, the splake more closely resembles the brook trout. They have vermiculations like brook trout, red orange ventral fins, and yellowish spots along their flanks. Dead specimens can be positively identified by the number of pyloric caeca, the wormlike appendages on the intestinal tract right after the stomach. The brook trout, which is the smaller parent, has only 23 to 55 (usually less than 50) pyloric caeca, whereas the intermediate-size hybrid has 65 to 85, and the lake trout, the larger parent, has 93 to 208 (usually 120 to 180) pyloric caeca.

Splake and brook trout have very similar coloration patterns, making it very difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish between the two species. Splake tend to have a slight fork in the tail, a trait passed down from its lake trout parent, while brook trout tend to have no fork or "square" tails.


Splake do not grow as large as lake trout, but they do grow larger than brook trout. Most splake weigh a few pounds, although those from bigger waters with a large forage base may be in the 8- to 12-pound class. The all-tackle world record is a fish from Ontario's Georgian Bay on Lake Huron; it weighed 20 pounds, 11 ounces and was caught in 1987.

Life history/Behavior:

Although they can reproduce, not all splake do, and some populations lack suitable habitat for spawning, which is generally rocky reefs near deep water. They also are capable of back-crossing (hybrids mating with parent species), which has occurred in hatcheries but evidently not in the wild. Spawning occurs in fall, usually in October, on rocky reefs. In spring, splake are often near tributaries or on gravel shoals, and in summer they seeker deep water.


This omnivorous species eats smelt, white perch, yellow perch, crayfish, insects, sculpin, and other fish.


Due to its initial fast growth rate and game nature, the splake is highly regarded by anglers, who pursue these fish by using shallow and deep lake techniques similar to those employed for its parents, especially lake trout. Spring, when the fish are shallow, is generally best for open-water success, but fall fishing on reefs, when the fish are spawning, can also be good. Working near bottom along the edges of dropoffs while ice fishing is most popular in many splake waters.