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Monday, January 29 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
SALMONIDS: Inland Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) Management in Northern Wisconsin

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AUTHORS. Tim Tobias, Hadley Boehm, Stephen Gilbert - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have limited distribution in the United States, being found in a selection of northern states and Alaska. In Wisconsin, Lake Trout are native to the Great Lakes and two inland lakes.  These inland waters are Black Oak and Trout lakes in Vilas County in the northern part of the state. Though relatively small (Trout: 1464 ha, Black Oak: 228 ha) compared to most Lake Trout waters, both lakes contain the deep, cold, oxygen-rich water necessary to sustain Lake Trout populations. Although both lakes have been stocked at times, the populations have remained genetically distinct from those found in the Great Lakes. The Lake Trout population in Trout Lake has been maintained by stocking since 1970, but that in Black Oak Lake has continued to reproduce naturally. Spawning habitat assessments have documented use of spawning areas ranging from man-made rock reefs, to a deep rock reef, to shallow rock shorelines in the lakes. However, changing fish communities and warmer waters led to concerns about spawning success and maintenance of Lake Trout populations in both lakes. So, an experimental stocking program was undertaken to introduce strains from both lakes to several additional area lakes to provide genetic reserves. Due to the experimental nature of the program, a long-term tagging study and monitoring program was implemented to assess the effectiveness of both size (fingerling vs. yearling) and frequency of stocking for inland Lake Trout. Here we summarize the findings of the program to date, provide stocking recommendations learned from it, and discuss future inland Lake Trout management plans.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm CST