Lake Trout aka Lake Char

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Game Fish Species of British Columbia

Lake Trout or Lake Char

Salvelinus namaycush

DESCRIPTION - The Lake Trout or Lake Char is typically 15-20 inches long, weighing an average of 10 pounds but they have been known to exceed 100 pounds. The body, colored light green or grey, dark green, brown or almost black with lighter colored spots is typically troutlike, elongate.

DISTRIBUTION - The lake trout occurs naturally and is widely distributed only in North America. It can readily be found in northern British Columbia in shallow lakes and in rivers and in the south of BC, in deeper lakes. It is the least tolerant of salt water of all the chars.

BIOLOGY - This fish spawns in late autumn in inland lakes up to depths of 40 feet. The female lays 400-1200 eggs and hatching occurs 4-5 months later. The lake trout is predaceous and feed upon crustaceans, insects, many species of fish and even small mammals.

RELATION TO MAN - The lake trout / lake char is highly prized both as a gamefish and as a commercial species. Anglers catch this species by fly or spin fishing early in the spring. The flesh may be white, pink, orange or orange-red, the color being influenced by the diet. It has an excellent flavor and is mostly eaten fresh but it is sometimes smoked.

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Lake Trout aka Lake Char