We studied age-0 lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) associated with spawning and nursery areas of the Gull Island Shoal complex in western Lake Superior. Post-emergent age-0 lake trout were captured on rocky spawning substrate with a 3-m beam trawl and at the nursery area with a bottom trawl from June to September 1990 and June to August 1991. Catch data suggested that age-0 lake trout move distances of 7-11 km to the nursery area over a 3-month period. Water currents, measured at Gull Island Shoal, may be a part of the transport mechanism. Examination of daily-growth increments on the sagittae and back-calculation from the date of capture revealed that most fish hatched between 6 June and 19 July in 1990 and between 30 April and 30 May in 1991. The duration of the hatch was 100 days in 1990 and 120 days in 1991, and the estimated incubation period is about 7 months for lake trout eggs at this site. Similar hatch-date distributions of age-0 captured on different sampling dates suggested that natural mortality was low.
Additional publication details
Hatching, dispersal, and bathymetric distribution of age-0 wild lake trout at the Gull Island Shoal complex, Lake Superior