Wilderness Charters of Priest Lake :: 608.341.8838
Wilderness Charters of Priest Lake :: 608.341.8838

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MackinawMackinaw or Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) can attain very large sizes. They prefer cold lakes and can reach 40" or more in length and weigh up to 25 lbs. or more. Their lifespan is generally 20-25 yrs. with a maximum known lifespan of 62 yrs. They are a voracious predator and feast on other fish. The "official" world record rod and reel caught Lake Trout weighed in at 72 lbs. and was caught in 1995 at Great Bear Lake, in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The largest known weighed in at an unbelievable 102 lbs. and was taken by a commercial fisherman from Lake Athabasca, in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1961. They are a great sport fish and offer the angler a real challenge to catch. They can be caught by trolling with large, shiny spoons, minnow-like plugs attached to wire-line rigs or downriggers, or by bottom bouncing jigs.

Young Man with Lake TroutLake Trout spawn at night, in the fall, over large cobble and boulder substrates. Young trout feed on freshwater shrimp, plankton, insects, and other aquatic vertebrates. Larger fish feed on small fish like cisco, smelt, sculpins, kokanee, whitefish and tullibee.

Mackinaw or Lake Trout are unique among salmonoids because they are restricted to still waters of lakes and reservoirs. Lake trout require cold, clear, well oxygenated water, thus they are found almost exclusively in oligotrophic (poor in plant nutrients, minerals and organisms and rich in oxygen at all depths) lakes. In summer when colder, denser water sinks to bottom of lake they follow it down. Spring and fall they can be found at depths of 20 feet or less. They prefer water from 40 to 52 degrees.

(This information was gathered, in part, from a great book titled "Trout and Salmon of North America" by Robert J. Behnke)

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