Something Fishy

Lake Trout

Lake Trout (click to see the larger version)

Ah, there’s nothing like seeing a dead fish to lift the spirits. I usually don’t post photos of deceased animals but this one is worth mentioning. On November 29, 2022 I found a washed-up Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) on Montrose Beach. This might be the first Lake Trout I’ve seen at Montrose. Most of the large predatory fish in Lake Michigan are non-native and introduced, like the familiar Chinook and Coho Salmon. Lake Trout were once the dominant large predatory fish in the Great Lakes; lamprey predation, pollution, and overharvesting greatly reduced their numbers. Thanks to conservation measures, they’ve rebounded but they aren’t as common as they once were.

Identification: We know this is a Lake Trout and not an introduced salmon because of the small white spots on the body and the deeply forked tail. Our non-native salmon have dark speckling on their bodies and shallower tail forks.