Lake Ontario Wide Lake Trout
Project Title
Identifying lake trout spawning distributions and habitats in Lake Ontario
Project Code
Project Duration
April 2023 - April 2033
Project Description
Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) restoration efforts in Lake Ontario have targeted optimized stocking practices, effective sea lamprey control, and comprehensive fishing regulations to restore a naturally reproducing population. These efforts have produced a genetically diverse adult stock that exceeds target abundances, leading to expectations that natural recruitment would occur. Despite this progress, natural recruits remain scarce, and restoration is at a standstill. Because the adult spawning biomass is sufficient to produce measurable levels of wild recruitment, impediments to restoration likely occur at early life stages. Identification of lake trout spawning habitats in Lake Ontario are incomplete and known historic spawning sites are largely degraded. Our project seeks to identify lake-wide spawning distributions of lake trout tagged in both US and CA waters. Identified spawning areas will then be targeted with fine-scale acoustic arrays to better understand spawning site selection. Information gained from our study will help us identify impediments to successful egg incubation and hatch.
Participating Organizations