Latest NEWS Video
Cisco or lake herring
Parts of a Fish
Ontario Trout Fishing
Got a cool picture of a lake Trout you
want to share??
Email it to us and we will add it!! Please
let us know who to credit the photo to.
Salvelinus namaycush (Walbaum) The lake trout
is known by several common names, including namaycush, mackinaw
trout, grey trout, togue and landlocked salmon.
In 1933, the American Fisheries Society
appointed a committee, which consisted of outstanding
ichthyologists of the United States and Canada, to study the
problem of the common and scientific names of fishes. The name
lake trout was accepted by the committee as most appropriate for
the fish that is discussed in this article. The name land-locked
salmon is a misnomer because it more properly belongs to the
land-locked variety of the Atlantic salmon.
The lake trout belongs to the same group of
fishes as the brook trout and the Dolly Varden trout, - the
chars. The name char is said to be derived from the Celtic word,
cear (blood), in_ allusion to the right red colour of the lower
surface of the body. In the scientific name for lake trout,
Salvelinus namaycush, Salvelinus is an old name for char, and
namaycush is an Indian name meaning “dweller of the deep”.
The chars are distinguished from trout
(steelhead, Kamloops and cutthroat) in that the bone (vomer) in
the centre of the roof of the mouth possesses teeth on its head,
in the form of a small patch. The scales of the chars are, in
general, smaller than those of any other member of the family
Salmonidae, and are embedded in the skin to such a degree that
they often escape notice. Other distinguishing features of the
lake trout are the elongated body, large head, deeply forked
tail, numerous pale or light-coloured spots on the back, sides,
cheeks, gillcovers, and dorsal and tail lins.
The lower fins are without a black stripe near
the leading edges. Coloration of the lake trout varies greatly
from lake to lake; they may be greyish, greenish, brownish, and
The lake trout agrees with other chars in being typically
northern in its distribution. It is native to the northern part
of North America from the New England states and the Maritimes
through the Great Lakes to Minnesota and Wisconsin, and
northward from Quebec to the Northwest Territory, British
Columbia and Alaska.
Depth, temperature and oxygen are the primary factors which
determine the suitability of lakes for lake trout. They normally
inhabit only lakes with a depth greater than 50 feet. In fact,
'rocky lakes less than l00 feet deep, unless they are spring
fed, do not have sufficient volume of cold Water to carry many
Lake trout show a more decided tendency to
live in colder water than brook trout, even when the two species
are found in the same lake. The average preferred temperature
for lake trout is 50°F. and the range is 40°F. to 65°F. in
When there is no obstacle to their migration, the ling or burbot,
the sculpin, the northern sucker and the whitefish are found in
association with the lake trout because their requirements of
water temperature and depth are similar. Of these
species, however, the whitefish is the one most closely
associated with the lake trout.
In spring, lake trout are widely dispersed in the shallow waters
of their habitat but, as soon as the water warms to
approximately 59°F ., they seek deeper and colder water. Of all
the salmonid fishes, the lake trout is the least disposed to
enter salt water, and records of their occurrence in salt water
In general, lake trout spawn on rocky reefs or
shoals. Spawning grounds located on Lake Opeongo were on exposed
shores facing the prevailing winds. Lake trout have been found
near the spawning grounds when the water temperature was 57°F.,
and spawning took place at 54°F . In general, the temperature
range for spawning is between 58°F. and 44°F.