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8 October 2014

Salvelinus namaycush (lake trout)

Datasheet Types: Natural enemy, Invasive species, Host animal, Threatened species

Abstract

This datasheet on Salvelinus namaycush covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Dispersal, Diagnosis, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Uses, Prevention/Control, Further Information.

Identity

Preferred Scientific Name
Salvelinus namaycush (Walbaum, 1792)
Preferred Common Name
lake trout
Other Scientific Names
Cristivomer namaycush (Walbaum, 1792)
Cristivomer namaycush Walbaum, 1792
Cristovomer namayacush (Walbaum, 1792)
Cristovomer namayacush Walbaum, 1792
Salmo amethystinus Mitchill, 1818
Salmo amethystinus Mitchill, 1818
Salmo amethystus Mitchill, 1818
Salmo amethystus Mitchill, 1818
Salmo confinis DeKay, 1842
Salmo confinis DeKay, 1842
Salmo ferox Perley, 1852
Salmo ferox Perley, 1852
Salmo namaycush Walbaum, 1792
Salmo namaycush Walbaum, 1792
Salmo pallidus Rafinesque, 1817
Salmo pallidus Rafinesque, 1817
Salvelinus namaycush Walbaum, 1792
International Common Names
English
char
great lake trout
great Lakes char
great Lakes trout
grey trout
lake charr
lake trout
laker
landlocked salmon
mackinaw
mackinaw trout
masamacush
mountain trout
namaycush
salmon trout
siscowet
taque
togue
touladi
Spanish
trucha lacustre
trucha lacustre
French
cristivomer
omble d'Amérique
omble du Canada
Omble du Canada
touladi
truite de lac d'Amérique
truite grise
Russian
severoamerikanskiy kristivomer
Local Common Names
Argentina
trucha de lago
Austria
Amerikanischer Seesaibling
lake trout
Canada
Great Lakes char
Great Lakes trout
grey trout
idlorak
idlorak
ihok
ihok
iIuuraq
iIuuraq
ikhlorak
ikhlorak
ilortoq
ilortoq
islorak
islorak
isok
isok
isuuq
isuuq
isuuqiaq
isuuqiaq
isuuqiq
isuuqiq
isuuraaryuk
isuuraaryuk
isuuraq
isuuraq
ivitaruk
ivitaruk
keyteeleek
keyteeleek
lake charr
lake trout
laker
mackinaw trout
masamacush
mountain trout
naaqtuuq
naaqtuuq
näluarryuk
näluarryuk
Näluarryuk
namaycush
namekus
namekus
nauktoq
nauktoq
nemakos
nemakos
nemeks
nemeks
némèkus
némèkus
salmon trout
sigguayaq
sigguayaq
siscowet
siuktuuk
siyuktuuq
taque
togue
Touladi
truite grise
Canada/British Columbia
hupin
k'wit'thet
k'wsech
shamet skelex
shmexwalsh
sk'wel'eng's schaanexw
slhop' schaanexw
spak'ws schaanexw
Canada/Quebec
ikhiloktok
ishioraliktâq
milaqkkâyoq
Czech Republic
siven obrovký
siven obrovký
Denmark
amerikansk søørred
Amerikansk søørred
canadarødding
Canadarødding
canadarøding
Canadarøding
kanadarødding
Kanadarødding
kanadarøding
Kanadarøding
Finland
harmaanieriä
harmaanieriä
France
cristivomer
omble d'Amérique
Omble du Canada
truite de lac d'Amérique
Germany
Amerikanische Seeforelle
Greenland
iclook
iclook
iqluq
iqluq
Iceland
murta
murta
Italy
trota di lago americana
trota di lago americana
New Zealand
mackinaw trout
Norway
canadaröye
Canadaröye
Canadarøye
Portugal
salvelino-lacustre
salvelino-lacustre
truta-do-lago
truta-do-lago
Russian Federation
severoamerikanskiy kristivomer
Serbia
pastrva
Slovakia
sivon velký
sivon velký
Spain
trucha lacustre
Sweden
canadaröding
Canadaröding
kanadaröding
Kanadaröding
Switzerland
amerikanische Seeforelle
Amerikanische Seeforelle
UK
great lake trout
grey trout
lake trout
namaycush
togue
touladi
USA
great lake trout
lake trout
siscowet
USA/Alaska
akalukpik
akalukpik
col-lic-puk
col-lic-puk
ikalukpik
ikalukpik
lake trout
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)
pastrva

Pictures

Salvelinus namaycush (lake trout); fisherman holding an adult lake trout, which is in spawning dress.
Adult
Salvelinus namaycush (lake trout); fisherman holding an adult lake trout, which is in spawning dress.
PD-USGOV-INTERIOR-FWS.

Summary of Invasiveness

S. namaycush is a freshwater fish native to North America. It has been introduced to other areas within North America and to South America, Europe, New Zealand and Japan. It is a highly piscovourous top predator (Fuller, 2007) and competes with native fish for habitat and food. S. namaycush has been reported to be responsible for the decline numerous populations of cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii and has been reported to prey heavily on the Utah chub Gila atraria (Teuscher and Luecke, 1996). Predation by lake trout has been shown to be a major factor in the decline of kokanee O. nerka in Lake Chelan, Washington (Schoen et al., 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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Description

S. namaycush has a deeply forked caudal fin and a slate grey to greenish body with lighter undersides. Cream to yellow spots are generally present on the head, body and dorsal and caudal fins. The lower fins tend to be orange-red with a narrow white edge. The species has nine to twelve gill rakers. Breeding males will develop a dark stripe on their sides temporarily (Lenart, 2001).
The average weight of S. namaycush is about 3 kg, but individuals can grow to up 27 kg under appropriate conditions (Hubert et al., 1994). Average length of S. namaycush varies from 45 to 68 cm (Scott and Crossman, 1973).

Pathogens Carried

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Distribution

In its native range, S. namaycush is widely distributed from northern Canada to New England and the Great Lakes basin (Page and Burr, 1991). Its established introduced range within North America includes the US states of California, Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. S. namaycush has been introduced into other countries such as Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

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History of Introduction and Spread

S. namaycush has been intentionally stocked as a sport fish in the majority of its introductions, though Kaeding et al. (1996) suggested that it was illegally introduced into Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA.
In the Great Lakes of North America, part of its native range, S. namaycush has been stocked to restore populations that had been severely reduced by the sea lamprey.

Introductions

Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonsIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
ArgentinaUSA1904  YesNo  
BoliviaUSA1936  NoNo  
Czech RepublicNorway1972  NoNo  
DenmarkSweden1961  NoNo  
DenmarkUSA1961  NoNo  
FinlandUSA1955  NoNo  
FranceUSA1963-1978  NoNo  
FranceNorth America1886  NoNo  
GermanySwitzerland1888  YesNo  
GermanyUSA1888  YesNo  
JapanUSA1904  YesNo  
MoroccoCanada   NoNo  
New ZealandUSA1901-1902  NoNo  
Newfoundland and LabradorOntario1886-1893  NoNo  
Norway 1971  YesNo  
PeruUSA1940  NoNo  
SwedenNorth America1959  YesNo  
SwitzerlandUSA1888  YesNo  
UKUSA1928  NoNo  

Risk of Introduction

S. namaycush has been intentionally stocked as a sport fish in the majority of its introductions, and since it is still stocked intentionally this remains the most likely pathway for new introductions.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Natural dispersal

In large water bodies such as the Great Lakes, S. namaycush may migrate up to 300 km (186 mi) to their spawning grounds.

Intentional introduction

S. namaycush is primarily bred, introduced and stocked for recreational fisheries worldwide (Fuller, 2007).

Pathway Causes

Pathway causeNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Acclimatization societies (pathway cause)Stocked as a sport fish worldwideYesYes 
Hunting, angling, sport or racing (pathway cause) YesYes 
Intentional release (pathway cause)Released as a sport fishYes  

Pathway Vectors

Pathway vectorNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Water (pathway vector)All life stages by natural dispersalYesYes 

Invasive Species Threats

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Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

S. namaycush looks similar to the brook trout, S. fontinalis; however, S. fontinalis can be distinguished by a black stripe on the anterior edge of their pelvic and anal fins (Lenart, 2001).

Habitat

S. namaycush is a cold-water species, preferring temperatures below 13°C and requiring relatively high concentrations of dissolved oxygen for survival (Ryan, 1994). S. namaycush is the only major native North American sport fish adapted to the deep, cold water of oligotrophic (low-nutrient) lakes, such as those often found in northern Canada and the northern Great Lakes region (Shuter, 1998). At the southern range of the species, S. namaycush requires deep-water refuges, where its preferred temperature ranges and oxygen levels exist. Residing exclusively in freshwater and most often found in lakes, S. namaycush might also inhabit large river systems that have the necessary habitat characteristics.

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Freshwater    
Freshwater LakesPrincipal habitatNatural
Freshwater ReservoirsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Freshwater ReservoirsPresent, no further detailsNatural
Freshwater Rivers / streamsSecondary/tolerated habitatNatural
Brackish    
Marine    

Biology and Ecology

Reproductive biology

Spawning occurs mostly at night, with peak activity between dusk and 9 or 10 pm (Royce, 1951; Martin, 1957). One or two males approach a female, press against her sides and quiver, causing the female to release eggs, which are then fertilized. A large female may contain up to 17,000 eggs.
The eggs, which are quite large, become lodged in crevices in the rubble bottom, where they remain for months before hatching. Unlike most other salmonid species, S. namaycush do create nests (redds) during spawning. Age at maturity varies widely from around 5 years in southern areas of its native range to more than 20 years in northern areas.

Longevity

S. namaycush tends to reach a maximum age of 25 years; however, the oldest fish on record, in the Northwest Territories (Canada), was aged at 65 years.

Activity patterns

In large water bodies such as the Great Lakes, S. namaycush may migrate up to 300 km (186 mi) to their spawning grounds.

Associations

Muzzall and Whelan (2011) reviewed the available literature for parasites of fish within the Great Lakes. Below is a list of all identified on S. namaycush:
Adult Cestoda: Eubothrium crassum (Cooper, 1919; Pearse, 1924); Eubothrium salvelini, (Amin, 1977; Muzzall, 1989; Wardle, 1933; Dechtiar and Christie, 1988; Bangham, 1955; Muzzall and Bowen, 2000).
Larval/Immature Cestoda: Proteocephalus sp. (Muzzall, 1989).
Adult Nematoda: Cystidicola farionis (Ward and Magath, 1916); Cystidicola farionis (Lankester and Smith, 1980; Dextrase, 1987); Cystidicola stigmatura (Wright, 1879; Leidy, 1886; Black, 1983; Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988;); Cystidicoloides ephemeridarum (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988); Cystidicola stigmatura (Ward and Magath, 1916).
Adult Acanthocephala: Acanthocephalus dirus (Amin, 1977; 1985; Muzzall, 1989); Echinorhynchus leidyi (Pearse, 1924b); Echinorhynchus salmonis (Pearse, 1924; Hnath, 1969; Amin and Burrows, 1977; Amin, 1985; Dechtiar and Christie, 1988; Muzzall, 1989; ); Echinorhynchus lateralis (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988); Echinorhynchus salmonis (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988).
Adult Digenea: Crepidostomum farionis (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988) Monogenea: Discocotyle sagittata (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988).
Larval/Immature Digenea: Diplostomum spathaceum (Collins and Dechtiar, 1974; Dechtiar et al., 1988); Diplostomum sp. (Bangham, 1955; Muzzall and Bowen, 2000); Ichthyocotylurus intermedia (Collins and Dechtiar, 1974).
Hirudinea: Unidentified leeches (Pearse, 1924).
Copepoda: Salmincola extensus (Pearse, 1924); Salmincola siscowet (Dechtiar and Lawrie, 1988).

Climate

Climate typeDescriptionPreferred or toleratedRemarks
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all yearWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all yearTolerated 
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summerWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summersTolerated 
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winterWarm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)Tolerated 
Df - Continental climate, wet all yearContinental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)Preferred 
Ds - Continental climate with dry summerContinental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)Preferred 
Dw - Continental climate with dry winterContinental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)Preferred 

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude lower (m)Altitude upper (m)
7343  

Air Temperature

ParameterLower limit (°C)Upper limit (°C)
Mean annual temperature015.5

Water Tolerances

ParameterMinimum valueMaximum valueTypical valueStatusLife stageNotes
Water temperature (ºC temperature)  11.2Optimum  

List of Diseases and Disorders

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Natural enemy of

This content is currently unavailable.

Notes on Natural Enemies

There are several natural enemies of S. namaycush reported in its native range, including lamprey species (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis and Petromyzon marinus) and fish (Ameiurus nebulosus, Lota lota and Prosopium cylindraceum). Smaller S. namaycush are potentially predated upon by ducks and other birds.

Natural enemies

Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Ameiurus nebulosus (brown bullhead)Predator
Adult
Fry
not specific   
Ichthyomyzon unicuspisPredator
Adult
Fry
not specific   
Lota lotaPredator
Adult
not specific  N
Petromyzon marinus (sea lamprey)Predator
Adult
not specific  N
Prosopium cylindraceumPredator
Adult
Fry
not specific   

Impact Summary

CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihoodPositive and negative
Environment (generally)Positive and negative

Impact: Economic

S. namaycush was once an important commercial fish in the Great Lakes but numbers dropped sharply during the 1950s due to overfishing and predation by the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus (Houston and Kelso, 1990). S. namaycush is still highly valued as a sport fish by anglers worldwide (Lenart, 2001). Recreational fishing and tourism may create a demand not only for food, accommodation and transportation, but also for related recreational activities such as camping, boating and canoeing, all of which may provide economic opportunities locally.

Impact: Environmental

The various introductions of S. namaycush within the USA has had detrimental effects on native biodiversity. Several species of fish have been affected not only by competition from S. namaycush but by predation as well, as this species is a top predator (Fuller, 2007). For instance, numerous populations of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) have either been eliminated (e.g. in Lake Tahoe, western USA) or severely reduced (e.g. in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA). S. namaycush introduced into Flaming Gorge Reservoir were found to prey heavily on the Utah chub Gila atraria (Teuscher and Luecke, 1996). Predation by lake trout was shown to be a major factor in the decline of kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka in Lake Chelan, Washington (Schoen et al., 2012).

Impact: Social

S. namaycush is a highly sought after recreational fishing species throughout North America. 

Risk and Impact Factors

Invasiveness

Invasive in its native range
Has a broad native range
Abundant in its native range
Tolerant of shade
Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
Long lived
Has high reproductive potential

Impact outcomes

Altered trophic level
Conflict
Damaged ecosystem services
Negatively impacts aquaculture/fisheries
Reduced native biodiversity
Threat to/ loss of endangered species
Threat to/ loss of native species

Impact mechanisms

Competition - monopolizing resources
Competition (unspecified)
Pest and disease transmission
Hybridization
Predation

Likelihood of entry/control

Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally
Difficult/costly to control

Uses

S. namaycush is a highly valued sport fish by anglers worldwide (Lenart, 2001).

Uses List

General > Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Eradication

Numerous techniques have been used in an attempt to eradicate S. namaycush. In Yellowstone national park, USA, gillnetting and trapping were deemed the most suitable management techniques for its control (Kaeding et al., 1996). Electrofishing was effective in managing populations of S. namaycush, and is undertaken yearly in Yellowstone Lake (Greater Yellowstone Science Learning Center, 2012). Cox et al. (2012) examined the efficacy of high intensity sound from a seismic air gun in reducing survival of S. namaycush embryos, finding increased mortality in embryos at close range and younger age.

Control

As established populations are difficult and costly to control, further introductions or stocking should be avoided.

Chemical control

The only effective method of fish eradication is the application of rotenone, a piscicide that is also toxic to non target species.

Monitoring and surveillance (incl. remote sensing)

Both radio and acoustic telemetry can be used.

Natural Food Sources

Food sourceLife stagesContribution to total food intake (%)Feeding methodsFeeding frequencyFeeding characteristicsDetails
Alosa pseudoharengus (alewife)
Aquatic|Adult
     
Catostomus catostomus
Aquatic|Adult
     
Cottus cognatus
Aquatic|Adult
     
Cottus cognatus
Aquatic|Adult
Aquatic|Fry
     
Myoxocephalus quadricornis
Aquatic|Adult
Aquatic|Fry
     
Mysis relicta
Aquatic|Fry
     
Notropis atherinoides
Aquatic|Adult
     
Percopsis omiscomaycus
Aquatic|Adult
     
Pontoporeia
Aquatic|Larval
     
Pungitius pungitius
Aquatic|Fry
     
Salvelinus namaycush (lake trout)
Aquatic|Adult
     

Links to Websites

NameURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Greater Yellowstone Sciencewww.greateryellowstonescience.org/topics/biological/fish/yct/projects/laketrout 

References

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Amin OM, 1985. The relationship between the size of some salmonid fishes and the intensity of their acanthocephalan infections. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 63:924-927.
Amin OM, Burrows JM, 1977. Host and seasonal associations of Echinorhynchus salmonis (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) in Lake Michigan fishes. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 34(3):325-331.
Arkhipchuk V, 1999. Chromosome database. Database of Dr. Victor Arkhipchuk.
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Black GA, 1983. Taxonomy of a swimbladder nematode, Cystidicola stigmatura (Leidy), and evidence of its decline in the Great Lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 40(5):643-647.
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Cox BS, Dux AM, Quist MC, Guy CS, 2012. Use of a seismic air gun to reduce survival of nonnative lake trout embryos: a tool for conservation? North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 32(2):292-298.
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