Samples of flesh were excised from the middorsal region of 67 siscowets (Salvelinus namaycush siscowet) and 46 lake trout (Salvelinus n. namaycush) collected from Lake Superior. Chemical analysis of the samples revealed a range in fat content (dry weight) of 32.5 to 88.8 per cent in siscowets and 6.6 to 52.3 per cent in lake trout. Percentage fat increased progressively with increase in length of fish in both forms, but the average rate of increase was far greater for siscowets than for lake trout at lengths between 12 and 20 inches. Despite substantial individual variation, the percentage fat in the two forms was widely different and without overlap at all comparable lengths. The range in iodine number of the fat was 100 to 160 for siscowets and 103 to 161 for lake trout; average values were generally lower for siscowets than for lake trout among fish of comparable length. Percentage fat and relative weight were not correlated significantly in either subspecies. The fat content of flesh samples from a distinctive subpopulation of Lake Superior lake trout known as 'humpers' was more closely similar to that of typical lean lake trout than to siscowets, but the rate of increase in fat with increasing length was greater than for lean lake trout. Flesh samples from hatchery-reared stocks of lake trout, hybrid lake trout X siscowets, and siscowets tended to support the view that the wide difference in fat content between siscowets and lake trout is genetically determined.
Additional publication details
Fat content of the flesh of siscowets and lake trout from Lake Superior