Lake Ontario Lake Trout

Lake Trout - Lake Ontario

Many people easily identify the trout as one of the prime targets of anglers. And true to form they are one of the most sought after fish species in New York State.  Their ability to put up a good fight, as well as their attractiveness, draws attention from experienced and novice anglers.

Trout come in many shapes and colors.  There is the colorful and bold Rainbow Trout, the brown hues of the brook trout and the silvery lake trout.  All trout prefer cool water that is mostly void of any pollution.  They will usually be the first animal to disappear if a body of water becomes polluted.

The Lake Trout

The lake trout is actually one of the native species of fish found in New York waters.  They prefer to live in deep water where the temperatures are quite cold and the oxygen levels are high.  They are easy to identify with their gray or silver skin.

This particular breed of trout can live a long life.  Documented adult lake trout have been known to live more than 20 years.  Fish that reach the older ages can become quite large, sometimes weighing more than 15 pounds.  In fact, the record in New York State for a lake trout is 39 pounds.

Spawning Habits of the Lake Trout

Lake trout are unique in their method of spawning.  Most breeds of trout found in New York State will build a nest for their eggs to hatch.  However, lake trout typically lay their eggs upon rocky shoals.  Furthermore, the chosen spot for spawning is lakes whereas most trout use streams for their spawning.  Because of their preference for deep water some eggs for lake trout have discovered as far down as 200 feet.

Tactics for Anglers

Different seasons call for different tactics in order to catch lake trout.  Once the ice has thawed in the spring, trolling along the lake’s surface or actually casting can be quite productive.  The rest of the year a down-rigger should be used in order to reach down into the necessary depths where lake trout reside.

Current Lake Trout Trends

Lake trout were an important part of the commercial fishing business in the Great Lakes during the 1800′s and into the 1900′s.  However, the introduction of the sea lamprey, along with over fishing, almost wiped out the lake trout.  Sea lampreys have been reduced and a significant stocking program has been under way for several years to help get the lake back to level where the lake trout can sustain their own population without outside help.