Drummond Island Lake Trout Spawning
Project Title
Reproductive behavior of wild and hatchery lake trout in the Drummond Island Refuge, Lake Huron
Project Code
Project Duration
August 2010 - January 2015
Project Description
Lake trout supported a valuable fisheries in the Great Lakes until the 1950s, when overfishing and sea lamprey predation resulted in the loss of most populations. Despite consistent stocking efforts since the 1960s, restoration of these populations has been slow. The reasons are numerous, but may be related to differences in spawning behavior between hatchery and wild trout. This study uses acoustic telemetry to describe and compare the spawning behaviors of wild and hatchery lake trout adjacent to Drummond Island, Lake Huron. Tagged fish are monitored by an array of approximately 150 acoustic hydrophones during the fall spawning season. Fish behavior data will be overlaid on detailed bathymetric and substrate data and compared with environmental variables (e.g., water temperature, wind speed and direction, and wave height and direction collected within the array by a Tidas 900 weather buoy) to develop a conceptual behavioral model. Sites suspected of being spawning habitats based on telemetry data will be verified through use of divers and trapping of eggs and fry.
Management Benefits
Participating Organizations