Nutrient Removal Implications on Lake Trout in Grand Lake
Lake trout, at all life stages, are opportunistic feeders. It is the quality, quantity, and availability of nutrients that determine the potential growth patterns and size composition of Lake trout. In absence of nutrients, pelagic forage fish (suckers) and mysids (mysis shrimp), lake trout are forced to become less efficient feeders. As a result these populations are slower growing, earlier to mature and shorter lived. Grand Lakes' depth and small surface area cause the nutrients to not mix very deep during spring overturn and enter summer stratification with less than saturated conditions in the hypolimnion (water column). This causes Grand lake to have generally low levels of optimum habitat while the volume of usable habitat varies with the degree of mixing and the concentration of nutrients need to support Lake Trout.
Under the "Fisheries Act" fish habitats are defined as those parts of the environment on which fish depend directly or indirectly on in order to carry out there life processes. The removal of nutrients or the changing of movement of nutrients to or from Grand Lake will destroy fish habitat.
Lake trout, also known as Mackinaw, are the largest trout in North America. Mackinaws have white spots on a dark background with a deep fork in their tail. As the name suggests, these fish are found in mountain lakes and are usually in deeper water. Anglers also enjoy success with this species during the fall and spring in shallower areas and when ice-fishing