Six Fathom Bank-Yankee Reef, an offshore reef complex, was an historically important spawning area believed to represent some of the best habitat for the rehabilitation of lake trout Salvelinus namaycush in Lake Huron. Since 1986, lake trout have been stocked on these offshore reefs to reestablish self-sustaining populations. We sampled with beam trawls to determine the abundance of naturally reproduced age-0 lake trout on these offshore reefs during May-July in 1994-1998 and 2000-2002. In total, 123 naturally reproduced lake trout fry were caught at Six Fathom Bank, and 2 naturally reproduced lake trout fry were caught at nearby Yankee Reef. Our findings suggest that this region of Lake Huron contains suitable habitat for lake trout spawning and offers hope that lake trout rehabilitation can be achieved in the main basin of Lake Huron.
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Evidence of offshore lake trout reproduction in Lake Huron