Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last of this year's lake trout planted

Bow Narrows staffer Brad Donovan scoops trout from a tub in the rear of the Lickety Split into the waters of Red Lake near Potato Island
Missing left pelvic fin marks this year's trout
The Ministry of Natural Resources, helped by guests and staff from Black Bear Lodge and Bow Narrows Camp, released the last of 45,000-49,000 lake trout fingerlings into the west end of Red Lake Monday evening.
It was the second half of this year's stocking. The first fish were released a week ago. The MNR drove their truck from the Dorion hatchery right down to the dock at Black Bear Lodge where guests and the camps' staff ferried the fingerlings in pails to waiting MNR boats and Bow Narrows' Lickety Split.
The fingerlings were released in fine condition in the area between Slay's Bay and Potato Island in about 100 feet of water. The young trout were expected to move quickly to the bottom and stay there for several years before reaching weights of two to three pounds and moving higher up in the water column.
The little trout will eat tiny prey such as freshwater shrimp for the first few years. Their deep location should keep them hidden from larger predators such as big lake trout, walleyes and northern pike. After they reach a couple of pounds they will need to seek out larger prey themselves and will move higher where there are ciscoes, shiners and smelt to feed upon.
This year's plantings can be identified in the future because they are missing the left pelvic fin. The MNR hatchery clips a different fin each year from the stocked fish, rotating around the body.
This is the 10th year the MNR has re-stocked Red Lake with lake trout but it is the first time that the fingerlings have been released at the west end of the lake. The fingerlings came from eggs harvested from wild lake trout in Pipestone Bay, north of Bow Narrows Camp. They were raised in the Dorion hatchery which is east of Thunder Bay. The fingerlings are 18-months old at the time of release and are six-to-eight inches in length.
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