What happened to Lake Champlain's native trout?

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.

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

Sea lamprey up in Lake Superior

Citation: What happened to Lake Champlain's native trout? (2012, December 6) retrieved 21 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-lake-champlain-native-trout.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more