10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava > 60 cm
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus), Lauri Urho
- Family: Salmonids – Salmonidae
- Similar species: arctic char, brook trout
- Size: In lake Inari usually 40–80 cm, 0.7–2 kg, max. up to 7 kg.
- Appearance: Somewhat more angular in appearance than other Finnish members of the genus Salvelinus (chars). Distinguished from the Arctic char and brook trout by the head, which is stouter, more ‘dog-like’ in shape. Mouth large, lower jaw extending back well behind the eye.
- Colouring: Sides usually dark brown, sometimes greenish or dark grey, almost black. The most striking feature is the pale yellow marbling along the sides and back, extending also to the caudal and dorsal fins. On the back the marbling may more resemble stripes. Overall dappled effect reminiscent of a pike. The fins of spawning males may turn a brownish red colour, though the belly always remains pale. Like other char, the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins have a white leading edge.
- Reproduction: Not known to reproduce in Finland, all populations here being stocked. In its home waters in North America the lake trout spawns in September-November in deep water.
- Food: Lake trout feed on a wide variety of organisms, but from 25-30 cm the main diet is other fish.
- Distribution and habitat: Lake trout have been planted in many lakes and in the sea. The main focus of stocking at present is lake Inari, where lake trout are now numerous enough to warrant a fishing effort. It is a fish of deep lakes where the water is cool and well oxygenated.
- Harmfulness: Locally harmful invasive species.
Lake trout were introduced into Finland from North America as a fish for our bigger lakes, prompted by the fact that they spawn in lakes rather than in flowing water like Finland’s other salmonids. Although it has not yet reproduced here it has become a worthwhile quarry for the fisherman, at least in lake Inari. It is the largest of Finland’s char and, although slow-growing, is long-lived and therefore attains considerable weight.