The successful stocking of the hatchery-reared lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Lake Superior has imporved the outlook for rehabilitating stocks reduced to an extremely low level by predation from the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). Marking the fish by fin-clipping to determine growth and survival benefits from holding young-of-the-year lake trout in the hatchery overwinter was begun in 1952-53 and continued through 1954-55. Boat and shore--and spring and fall--plants of yearlings were compared in subsequent experiments to reduce costs of planting and improve survival. Hatchery lake trout now are marked primarily to distinguish them from wild fish in assessment of natural reproduction. Year-to-year and local variations of the mark also supply information on individual plants.
Recent large increases in numbers of lake trout stocked required development of an efficient, economical system of clipping fins on a mass-production basis. Data on marking rates were collected in 1958-63 at the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlifes's Pendills Creek and Charlevois National Fish Hatcheries (both in Michigan), where more than 3.5 million fish were fin-clipped.
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Lake trout fin-clipping rates at two national fish hatcheries