What happened to Lake Champlain's native trout?

Dec 06, 2012 by Joshua E. Brown

Scientists identify it as Salvelinus namaycush. Other names include mackinaw, lake char, touladi, togue, siscowet, and paperbelly. Lots of people call it, simply, a lake trout. It's a freshwater fish found in many northern lakes in North America.

In Lake Champlain, lake trout spawn at several reefs. Ellen Marsden, UVM professor of fisheries, has found extremely high densities of trout eggs and young fish (called fry) at these spawning sites.

But that's where the happy story seems to end. Annual assessments of adult lake trout reveal that nearly all them are clipped; that means they were born in state fish hatcheries. There appears to be nearly zero natural reproduction of lake trout in Lake Champlain. That's worrisome to and —and expensive too.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Ellen Marsden and her students have been searching for more than a decade trying to figure out why. They've gone down in scuba gear and paddled in boats. This year, they got Zippy, a tiny orange submarine (or ROV for remotely operated vehicle) to help them in the search for answers.

Explore further: Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sea lamprey up in Lake Superior

Aug 27, 2005

The number of sea lamprey has nearly doubled in western Lake Superior in the past year, according to Minnesota and U.S. wildlife officials.

Study finds way to cut sea lamprey numbers

Oct 03, 2005

Minnesota scientists say they've found a way to reduce sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes by attracting them to areas where they can be sterilized.

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

5 hours ago

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

15 hours ago

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...