• Family: Salmonidae (Trout, Salmon, Char, and Whitefish)
• Other Names: Laker, speckled trout
• Ohio Status: Species of concern
• Adult Size: Typically 15-30 inches, can reach 48 inches. Usually weighs 2-10 pounds, can reach over 45 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Aquatic insects, crustaceans, and small fish.
Lake trout are a medium to dark gray or olive green color. They have light white or yellow spots on the back and sides that can be tinged with red. Lake trout also are the only trout in Ohio with a deeply forked tail. Like all species in the Salmonidae family they have an adipose fin(small fleshy fin just in front of their tail on their back).
Habitat and Habits
Lake trout are native to the Great Lakes and prefer deep, coldwater lakes throughout the northern part of North America. They are usually found offshore in deep, well oxygenated water. Lake Erie is on the southern edge of their range and they likely never were abundant in the lake, but historically were more common than they are today.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Lake trout spawn on offshore shoals and reefs in the fall. Eggs hatch in the spring and young lake trout usually move to deeper water after a short time. The lake trout is a slow growing, long lived species that does not become sexually mature until age seven or eight. Lake trout populations have been greatly reduced over much of their range due to their susceptibility to parasitism by the sea lamprey.