Brook trout

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Lake Superior hosts a unique population of ‘coaster’ brook trout which spawn in rivers but spend much of their time in the big lake. These trout are quite large relative to other brook trout, and are highly valued by anglers locally, nationally and internationally. Within the NMCA, Gapen’s Pool on the Nipigon River is an important spawning site for these fish. Some ideas for monitoring include fry counts in spring and counts of adults or redds (spawn beds) in fall. Ensuring that monitoring does not, in itself, negatively impact fish is a consideration. Initial attempts were made to use unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photography for fall counts, but these met with limited success, including poor visibility of fish / redds from photographs.

Other fish species and communities

Other programs to monitor sentinel fish species (e.g. Lake Sturgeon), forage fish species or fish community composition are under consideration for Lake Superior NMCA, although no field work was undertaken by Parks Canada staff this season. Discussions are underway with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and other agencies, including member organizations of the Lake Superior Partnership, to identify opportunities for collaboration and data-sharing in this respect.

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