Lake Trout

Common Name: LAKE TROUT, TOGUE

Other Names: LAKER, GREY TROUT, MACKINAW

Scientific Name: Salvelinus namaycush

Origin: Native

Adult Size: In most waters, lake trout commonly reach lengths of 18 to 24 inches and weights of 2 to 4 pounds. They are among the longest lived and largest freshwater game fish, often living 20 years or more and attaining sizes of over 30 inches and 10 pounds.

Identification:  Lake trout have a typical trout-shaped body covered with light spots on a darker background of green or grayish brown. They are closely related to the brook trout, but lack the bright coloration and can be distinguished by a deeply forked tail.

  • In Maine, lake trout are more commonly know as togue.
  • The lake trout is the second largest member of the salmon and trout family with recorded weights of as much as 100 pounds.
  • Lake trout have been taken at depths exceeding 300 feet.
  • From mid-October to mid-November, depending on the location in Maine from north to south, lake trout seek shallow water over broken ledge or boulder-covered bottom to engage in their annual spawning activity.
  • Tagging experiments in Maine have established definitely that lake trout, once sexual maturity has been reached, return each year to spawn.  Male lake trout spawn every year, while females often spawn only every other year.
  • Eggs hatch in 140 to 166 days at a water temperature of 37º F.
  • Ages of lake trout have been estimated at 20 to 40 years for some large lake trout in certain lakes in Canada.  Lake trout more than 20 years old have been found in some Maine waters also.

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