Lake trout population

Prince Albert National Park

Protecting Lake trout and preserving sport fishing on Kingsmere Lake

Lake trout is unique to North America and is the largest species in the family of fish called Char. Lake trout are sensitive to changes in their environment, making them great indicators of water quality and the health of a lake. Of the over 1,500 lakes and ponds in Prince Albert National Park, only Kingsmere, Crean, and Wassegam lakes contain natural Lake trout populations. Lake trout populations are monitored on Kingsmere and Wassegam lakes as they are similar aquatic ecosystems that have different levels of use and fishing pressures.

Lake trout fishing on Kingsmere Lake is most popular in the spring. Many anglers practice catch-and-release when the trout are “up” in 10 to15 feet of water. Releasing them in shallow water may not pose a threat to the fish because they are not being pulled up from 80+ feet of water. Catch-and-release has become a common practice among anglers and is viewed as a conservation technique. When performed correctly, it can be successful with minimal harm to the fish. However, due to the variation among species in response to catch-and-release techniques, further research is required

During the spring, when the trout are in 10 to15 feet of water, the clarity of Kingsmere Lake allows anglers to observe many trout and other species of fish near the surface. It is an unique and enjoyable sight viewed by many visitors at this time of year. The abundance of lake trout in shallow waters may or may not indicate the population is healthy.

National parks are mandated to assess all fish stocks that are subject to sport fishing. According to present information, scientific data indicates a sharp decline in the lake trout population in Kingsmere Lake. Monitoring has occurred three times in the past nine years to determine trends in the lake trout population size and structure on Kingsmere Lake. Learn more about lake trout monitoring.

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