In light of increased wild production, the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (NY, VT, USFWS) is reducing lake trout stocking by 33 percent (~27,060 fish). This decision is based on data that indicates increased catches of wild lake trout in annual standardized nettings used to monitor the contribution of wild vs. stocked fish to the lake trout population. Biologists and researchers deem the stocking reduction an essential management action that must be taken to ensure a healthy balance between salmonine (trout and salmon) sport fish and prey so a quality fishery can be maintained. The stocking reduction will be achieved initially by eliminating lake trout stocked by DEC.
The observations of increasing wild lake trout production in Lake Champlain is exciting news and a testament to the progress that has been made toward the restoration of a self sustaining lake trout population over the past 60 years.