Skip to main content

Saltwater Lake Trout

Saltwater Lake Trout

Research in Action — New findings show that in certain populations of lake trout found in Canada's Far North, specifically, four Arctic lakes in the West Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, up to 27 percent of individuals make annual migrations to marine environments.* Researchers used a technique called otolith microchemistry, which involved examining changes in chemical composition in the otoliths (small ear stones) along a "timeline" that represents a fish's life. Certain chemical signatures indicate movement to saltwater.

Life in extreme northern rivers and lakes can be harsh, and food is often scarce. Much like their close cousin, the Arctic char, a proportion of the population of lake trout studied were shown to migrate into the ocean each summer, where it is believed food is more plentiful. Fish that migrated were in better condition than permanent freshwater residents. Mean age of first migration to salt water for lake trout was 13 years, older than for Arctic char, which migrate at 5 years. This is likely because lake trout need to be larger and older to tolerate higher salinities.

*Swanson, H., and 6 co-authors. 2010. Anadromy in Arctic populations of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush): otolith microchemistry, stable isotopes, and comparisons with Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 67:842–853.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

In-Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top In-Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Subscribe Now and Get a Full Year

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now