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Lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Ontario, 2019

March 31, 2020

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. The catch per unit effort of adult lake trout in gill nets increased each year from 2008-2014, recovering from historic lows recorded during 2005-2007. Adult abundances declined each year from 2015 to 2017; and in 2017 were about 35% below the 2014 peak and 17% below the 1999-2004 mean. Adult abundance increased in 2018 by 51% over the 2017 value and increased and addition 16% in 2019. The 2019 rate of wounding by sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) on lake trout caught in gill nets (0.53 A1 wounds (fresh wound) per 100 lake trout) was below target (2 wounds per 100 lake trout). Estimates from the NYSDEC fishing boat survey indicated angler catch rate of lake trout was low in 2019 and among the lowest recorded for the time series. Condition values for an adult lake trout, indexed in September from the predicted weight for a 700mm lake trout from annual length-weight regressions and Fulton’s K for age-6 males, were among the highest levels observed for the 1983-2019 time series. Predicted weight for a 400mm lake trout from July 2019 bottom trawl catches was near the long-term average while age-2 K was among the lowest for the time series. Reproductive potential for the adult stock indexed from the CPUE of mature females ≥ 4000g was again above the target in 2019 continuing a trend observed in nine of the last ten years. The 2019 catch of young native lake trout marked the 25th observation in the last 26 years, however the low numbers of native adults observed during that time period continues to indicate substantial restoration impediments still exist.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Ontario, 2019
DOI
Authors Brian F. Lantry, Stacy Furgal, Brian C. Weidel, Michael Connerton, Dimitry Gorsky, Christopher Osborne
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype State or Local Government Series
Series Title New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Report of Investigations
Series Number
Index ID 70218165
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center

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