Lake trout in planktivorous populations are highly abundant, grow very slowly and mature at relatively small sizes. "[8], Lake trout are known to hybridize in nature with the brook trout; such hybrids, known as "splake", are normally sterile but self-sustaining populations exist in some lakes. Lake trout are the largest of the freshwater char. The word trout is also used as part of the name of some non-salmonid fish such as Cynoscion nebulosus, the spotted seatrout or speckled trout. Other variations found in East Cree are kûkamâs[h], kûkamâw and kûkamesh. The majority of its populations live in Canada and Alaska, though some also naturally extend into the contiguous United States. The young fish, known as fry, continue to hide in the gravel for some time before moving into deeper water to hunt for prey. Adults of this species live solitary lives outside of breeding. Piscivorous lake trout grow much more quickly, mature at a larger size and are less abundant. Though the IUCN has not assessed this fish, invasive species, pollution, overfishing, climate change, and other factors all impact regional populations. The largest caught on a rod and reel according to the IGFA was 72 pounds (33 kg), caught in Great Bear Lake in 1995 with a length of 59 inches (150 cm).[6]. They are pelagic during the period of summer stratification in dimictic lakes, often living at depths of 20–60 m (66–197 ft). However, some individuals reach much larger sizes. [9] Splake are also artificially propagated in hatcheries, and then stocked into lakes in an effort to provide sport-fishing opportunities. Younger fish feed primarily on smaller invertebrates, while adults hunt primarily for larger prey, like fish. The juveniles hunt for plankton, insects, insect larvae, worms, and more. Siscowet numbers have become greatly depressed over the years due to a combination of the extirpation of some of the fish's deep water coregonine prey and to overexploitation. 10 to 15lb fluorocarbon, mono-filament on a spinning reel or on a bait-casting set-up works well. In human care, they receive a variety of fish, shrimp, and invertebrates as food. [12] Similar cognate words are found in Ojibwe: namegos = "lake trout"; namegoshens = "rainbow trout", literally meaning "little lake trout". This species has dark colored scales, with a light-yellow abdomen, and light-colored speckles across its flanks. On average, this fish weighs about six pounds, and measures about three feet long. No, this fish does not make a good pet. It is also very late to mature. There is the common lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush namaycush), the siscowet lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush siscowet), and the less common rush lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush huronicus). They also range into deep water rivers as well. Professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, James Kitchell, credits effective constraint of commercial fisheries and persistent sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control for the successful recovery of Lake Superior's lake trout. The lake trout is prized both as a game fish and as a food fish. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. Not to be confused with the brown trout, which some people refer to as the “Lake Trout,” this species hails from a different taxonomic genus. Splakes (hybrid fish, crossed between lake trout and brook trout) have also been successfully introduced widely in many areas of North America. Commercial fisheries still exist in some areas of the Great Lakes and smaller lakes in northern Canada. Common lake trout tend to stay in shallower waters, while siscowet lake trout stay in deeper water. The specific epithet namaycush derives from namekush, a form of the word used in some inland Southern East Cree communities in referring to this species of fish. Learn more about what makes this species unique, below. Lake trout inhabit cold, oxygen-rich waters.

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