Records of the temperatures occupied by 33 lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) at large in Lake Huron were obtained for up to 14 months per fish, at 75-minute intervals, from surgically implanted archival temperature tags. The dataset covered nearly three years, from October 1998 to June 2001, and included 160,000 observations. The objectives of the tagging were to obtain temperature data to refine bioenergetics models of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) predation on lake trout, and compare the temperatures occupied by strains of lake trout stocked in Lake Huron. The seasonal, thermal-use profiles of lake trout followed the general warming and cooling pattern of Lake Huron. During periods when the zone of surface water mixing extended below the depth range occupied by lake trout, variability among individual fish and strains was low and followed surface temperature. However, during the period of summer stratification, the average temperatures occupied varied substantially among individual fish and strains. Strains originating from the upper Great Lakes (Lake Superior and Lewis Lake, WY) occupied similar temperatures. Between June and mid August, upper Great Lakes lake trout typically occupied water several degrees warmer than that occupied by lake trout of Finger Lakes, New York origin. Most of the lake trout occupied summer temperatures lower than the preferred temperatures suggested by laboratory studies. In October, all strains occupied water as warm or warmer than that occupied in summer, which may partially explain the higher lethality of sea lamprey attacks during October.
Additional publication details
In situ determination of the annual thermal habitat use by lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Lake Huron