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Lake Trout (Togue)

Delving into the depths of North America’s cold, clear, freshwater lakes, we discover an iconic resident: the Lake Trout, or Salvelinus namaycush. This species, native to many parts of Alaska and Canada, as well as parts of the northern United States, is much more than a game fish for ardent anglers. With a lifespan that can stretch up to six decades, the Lake Trout stands as a testament to the adaptability and resilience of nature.

Lake TroutSalvelinus namaycush
Body ShapeTorpedo shaped, laterally compressed body
ScalesCtenoid (rough to the touch)
FinsTwo dorsal fins, one adipose fin, one anal fin, one caudal fin, two pelvic fins, two pectoral fins
Mouth PositionTerminal (at the tip of the head)
HabitatDeep, cold lakes; prefers water temperatures of 40-55°F (4-12°C)
Feeding BehaviorOpportunistic predator, feeding mainly in the early morning and late evening
DietZooplankton (as juveniles), fish, and insects (as adults)
ReproductionBroadcast spawner, does not build nests, spawns in the fall
SizeTypically 24-36 inches (61-91 cm), can reach up to 50 inches (127 cm)
LifespanUp to 20 years commonly, can live up to 60 years
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (LC) according to IUCN
States Found InTotal 26: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Please note that lake trout distribution can vary and they are often stocked in various bodies of water for recreational fishing, thus the states listed may not encompass all possible locations.

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