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Lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Ontario, 2013

March 1, 2014

Each year we report on the progress toward rehabilitation of the Lake Ontario lake trout (Salvelinus
namaycush) population, including the results of stocking, annual assessment surveys, creel surveys, and
evidence of natural reproduction observed from all standard surveys performed by USGS and NYSDEC.
No lake trout from the 2011 year class were stocked into Lake Ontario during October 2011 or May
2012; therefore, no stocked age-2 lake trout were available to bottom trawls during 2013. The catch per
unit effort of adult lake trout in gill nets increased each year from 2008-2013, recovering from historic
lows recorded during 2005-2007. Adult abundance in 2013 exceeded the level of the 1999-2004 mean
which at the time appeared to be the new stable abundance following from the 1993 stocking cuts. The
2013 rate of wounding by sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) on lake trout caught in gill nets was 2.26
fresh (A1) wounds per 100 lake trout and was slightly above target (2 wounds per 100 lake trout).
Estimates from the NYSDEC fishing boat survey indicated 2013 angler catch and harvest rates were the
highest estimated in more than 10 years. Adult lake trout condition (indexed from annual length–weight
regressions) increased in 2007-2009 from relatively low values observed during 2000-2006, remained
nearly constant during 2010-2012 at the highest values observed for the 30 year time-series, but declined
in 2013. The low condition values observed for juvenile lake trout during 2010-2012 continued during
2013. Reproductive potential for the adult stock, determined from the annual egg deposition index,
rebounded from the 2007-2008 values that were the lowest observed since 1985 and stabilized during
2009-2013 at a mean value of 20.7. In 2013, five age-1 and three age-2 naturally produced lake trout
were collected from trawl survey catches providing first evidence of a 2012 year class and continued
evidence of a 2011 year class.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Ontario, 2013
Authors Brian F. Lantry, Jana R. Lantry
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Series Title NYSDEC Lake Ontario Annual Report
Series Number 2013
Index ID 70112431
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center

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