Fisheries, Midwest Region
Conserving America's Fisheries


Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) is a freshwater char living as a main predator in the Great Lakes. Other names for it include mackinaw, lake char (or charr), touladi, togue, and grey trout. Around Lake Superior, they can also be variously known as siscowet, paperbellies and leans. Lake trout are prized both as game fish and as a food fish.

Lake trout are native to the Great Lakes and historically provided a large commercial fishery. Wild lake trout populations nearly vanished in the Upper Great Lakes, including Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior, in the 1940s and 1950s after years of overfishing and losses from parasitic sea lamprey. Hatchery stocking was initiated in an effort to stop the decline of this valuable resource. The development and initiation of effective control of sea lamprey in the 1960s resulted in increased survival of stocked lake trout.

Lake Trout Fry
Lake Trout Eggs

Lake Trout Yearlings
Lake Trout Yearlings

Last updated: August 2, 2017