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Lake Erie Lake Trout Stocking

Lake Erie produces a trophy lake trout fishery, with an average fish weighing about 10 pounds and many in the 20-plus pound class. The current state record caught 20 years ago also hails from Lake Erie.

Lake trout are stocked annually as part of a long-term rehabilitation program. Fish raised by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Warren, PA were recently trucked to Lake Erie and stocked offshore of Dunkirk, NY by DEC staff aboard the Research Vessel Argo. This year New York received 80,000 and Pennsylvania 120,000 as part of a new rotational stocking program. Prior to stocking, each fish had its adipose fin clipped and a coded wire tag inserted in its snout. This allows data to be collected on recaptured fish over time.

Recently, DEC staff sampled the first naturally reproduced lake trout observed in Lake Erie in 60 years near Barcelona, NY. Genetic testing confirmed that these wild fish were the offspring of our stocked fish. Certainly, promising news for the lake trout fishery!

Lake Erie Lake Trout Rehabilitation Plan, 2021-2030.

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