Lake Ontario Lake Trout & Chinook Salmon interactions
Project Title
Top Predator Interactions in Lake Ontario and implications for species restoration
Project Code
Project Duration
September 2017 - April 2019
Project Description
Top predators interact in space and time, often resulting in competition for resources, such as food, but also exerting great influence on the structure of the food web by maintaining predator-prey balance, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. These interactions can modify a predator’s search for food or habitat use and affect rehabilitation efforts. Lake Ontario (LO) is home to six salmonid species attracting recreational anglers from across North America. Currently, a number of different fish species, including Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are being stocked in Lake Ontario in an effort to maintain or increase their abundance and ultimately establish self-sustaining populations that allow for sustainable harvest. Lake Trout population in LO was extirpated by 1950 and is currently depressed and under rehabilitation. Understanding the interactions of Lake Trout in space and time with other top predators in the system such as Chinook Salmon is critical to Lake Trout’s successful restoration.