Lake Trout


Of the species listed in this question, only lake trout are native to Lake Superior. They inhabit the cold, deep waters of the Upper Great Lakes as well as some inland lakes in Canada, Minnesota, and other northern states. Lake trout were an important Great Lakes commercial fish during the first half of the 20th Century, but overfishing and predation by the sea lamprey greatly reduced their population.  However, stocking and lamprey control have resulted in a comeback for the lake trout, and it is once again an important species for Great Lakes anglers and is currently being harvested commercially on a limited basis. The Minnesota state record for lake trout is 43 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught in Lake Superior (Minnesota DNR, 2014). The world record lake trout, caught in Great Bear Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories in 1995, weighed 72 pounds, 0 ounces.

Of the three other species listed as possible answers for this question, only steelhead trout (a name often used for rainbow trout that live in the Pacific Ocean or the Great Lakes) can be found in Minnesota waters. They have been stocked in Lake Superior and its tributaries, but are not native to our state. The Minnesota state record for rainbow (steelhead) trout is 17 pounds, 6 ounces (Minnesota DNR, 2014) . The world record rainbow trout, caught in Arkansas in 1970, weighed 42 pounds, 2 ounces.

Return to the quiz

Photos courtesy of  Jay T. Hatch, Natural History of Minnesota Fishes. Reprinted with permission.

  Background from El Merko Loco