DID YOU KNOW: Lake Trout are the only true native game fish in Lake Michigan.
DESCRIPTION: Lake trout are the largest of the charrs; the record weighed almost 102 lbs, and 15 to 40-pound fish are not uncommon. The largest being caught in Great Bear Lake in Canada.
LIFE CYCLE: Lake trout inhabit cold, oxygen-rich waters. They are pelagic during the period of summer stratification in dimictic lakes, often living at depths of 60–200 ft.
The lake trout is a slow-growing fish, typical of oligotrophic waters. It is also very late to mature. Populations are extremely susceptible to overfishing. Many native lake trout populations have been severely damaged through the combined effects of hatchery stocking (planting) and overharvest.
Two basic types of lake trout populations are generally accepted. Some lakes do not have pelagic forage fish during the period of summer stratification. In these lakes, lake trout take on a life history known as planktivory. Lake trout in planktivorous populations are highly abundant, grow very slowly and mature at relatively small sizes. In those lakes that do contain deep-water forage, lake trout become piscivorous. Piscivorous lake trout grow much more quickly, mature at a larger size and are less abundant. Notwithstanding differences in abundance, the density of biomass of lake trout is fairly consistent in similar lakes, regardless of whether the lake trout populations they contain are planktivorous or piscivorous. The Lake Trouts biggest predator is the Lamprey which latches on to the slow moving fish and sucks blood, nutrients, and vitamins out of the fish.
State Record: 47 lbs
World Record: 102 lbs