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  • Writer's pictureNepahwin Lake Watershed Stewardship Group

Help solve the Mystery of Lake Trout in Nepahwin Lake

Lake trout Image from

Nephawin Lake was originally called Trout Lake, named after the native lake trout ( Salvelinus namaycush) which appeared to have died off sometime before 1980 during industrial and urban development of Sudbury, just like in many other local lakes.

In recent years to provide a recreation fishery, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has routinely stocked the lake with "splake" - a hybrid between lake trout and brook trout; a fish that grows well but rarely achieves the large size of lake trout. However, recently winter anglers have been occasionally capturing a few large trout ( > 40 cm) with forked tails, which appear to be lake trout rather than the hybrid splake (usually smaller with a squarer tail)

Could these mystery fish be the original fish or perhaps lake trout that were mistakenly mixed in with the splake stocking? Either way it would be exciting to confirm that lake trout are actually now living in the lake, because this species is particularly sensitive to environmental conditions. However, the only way to confirm whether we actually have lake trout or splake is to capture a few of the largest specimens, keep them frozen and whole (don't gut them), and submit them for dissection at Laurentian University's Living With Lakes Centre.

So, if you do come across a large forked tail trout while ice-fishing, and would be willing to donate it to help solve this mystery, please reach out to John Gunn at the Lake Centre (; ph. 705-675-4851). He will arrange to pick up your mystery specimen and provide you with a small prize in appreciation.

Interested in learning more about Nepahwin Lake fish and what is stocked and when? Go to

Fish-ON-Line from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests;

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