Sunday, October 12, 2014

What fish species spawn in the fall?

Lake trout, as mentioned in some of the last postings, spawn in the fall.  This seems odd to some  anglers and the reason is almost all of the species they normally seek are spring spawners such as walleye, northern pike and bass.
However, lake trout are not alone in their autumn ritual here on Red Lake. Other fish, most of them not targeted by fishermen much are: whitefish, tulibee and ling. All of these fall-spawning species are the deep-water fish in Red Lake.
Their reproductive strategy is in marked contrast to the spring spawners whose survival seems based on eggs developing rapidly and the young fry quickly seeking shelter from predators, all in a matter of a few weeks. The fall spawners' eggs can take months to develop and the young fish are very slow to grow. However, there also are fewer predators in the shallows under the ice. Most of the predatory fish will be in somewhat deeper water where it is warmer.
Lake trout eggs, dropped among boulders right at the shoreline, can be totally covered by ice when winter comes. Incredibly, even in these ice-bound shallow areas, there is liquid water between the cracks at the bottom of the rocks. The little trout are alive but imprisoned there until the ice melts in the spring. They then plummet to near the bottom of the lake, below the predators which are usually higher up near the thermocline.
Lake trout spawn around Oct. 1, whitefish and tulibee spawn just as the ice is forming and ling can spawn under the ice. All of these fishes' eggs just fall to the bottom. The parents don't build a nest as do some stream trout and bass.
It may seem more primitive than the warm-water fish but it is just another example of the diversity of Nature.
Click to go back to our website
Click to see the latest on the blog

No comments: