To identify the stocking season and technique that resulted in maximum contribution of hatchery-reared lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) to the population in Lake Ontario, paired lots of yearlings were stocked near shore in March, near shore in May, and offshore by helicopter in May. All mortality associated with stocking season and technique apparently had occurred by age 2. Therefore, survival comparisons were based on combined recoveries of age-2 and older fish. We found statistically significant differences in survival ratios for 19 of 30 comparisons among individual paired lots, but results were not consistent. Variables other than stocking date and technique apparently had a major influence on survival of lake trout following stocking in Lake Ontario. Predation by large salmonids may have been the the dominant mechanism affecting survival.
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Effect of stocking season and technique on survival of lake trout in Lake Ontario