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  • Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) are a native species common to southern Ontario; with average lengths of 15-20's inches and average weights up to 10 pounds. 

  • The Caudal (tail) fin is distinctly deeply forked. 

  • Lake Trout's colour consists of light sports on a dark background (varies from light green or grey to dark green, or brown) including sports on head and all fins.


  • Lake Trout are a cold water fish preferring temperatures around 10 degrees C

  • Spawn in late October

  • Slow to reach sexual maturity, and usually do not spawn until approximately age 7.  Due to this slow maturation, it is critical to release older shih to ensure the existence of spawning stocks

  • Lake Trout are predaceous and feed n a wide range of food including aquatic insects, crustaceans, and small minnows.  On Charleston Lake, Lake Trout mainly feed on Lake Herring (Cisco).

  • The angling record for Ontario is 63 pounds 2 oz. (28.6 kg) which was caught in Lake Superior in 1952.


In the Spring, fish can be found in shallower depths along rocky shallows.

During the summer months, the Lake Trout usually inhabits the deepest parts of the lake, spending most of their time in waters deeper than 50 feet.  As summer fades, and fall begins, they move to shallow shoals to spawn. 


MNR's Southeast Ontario Inland Lake Trout Management Plan recommended a fishery based on a naturally reproducing population, but recent spawning assessments have indicated that hatchery stocked fish were becoming more abundant on spawning shoals, suggesting a declining abundance of native, wild Lake Trout.  

As a result of these observations, and in accordance with its provincial stocking guidelines and policy, MNR ceased stocking Charleston Lake in 2012.  Over time it is anticipated that the native fish will increase to adequate levels and that the fishery will be completely self-sustaining. 


  • Charleston Lake is situated in the MNR Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 18.  The Lake Trout open season on the lake is from the fourth Saturday in May to September 8th.  

  • For conservation reasons, fishing regulations limit the number of fish an angler may catch (number allowed to be caught and kept in one day) or possess (number allowed to have in your possession on hand, in storage or in transit).  Possession limits are the same as one day's catch limit. 

  • Sport fishing license holder: catch and possess a limit of 2 Lake Trout a day.

  • Conservation fishing licence holder: catch and possess 1 Lake Trout a day.

  • For more information on the recreational fishing regulations, visit


  • Retrieve fish from deep water slowly

  • Land them quickly once they are brought up to the warm surface

  • Do no fight the fish to exhaustion

  • Release fish without removing them from the water if possible

  • Minimize handling of the fish and make sure to NEVER put your fingers near the gills

  • Cut hooks if necessary to quickly release fish

  • Carry a wet towel to place fish on to remove hocks

  • Do not keep Lake Trout in live-well prior to releasing them

  • Remove barbs from hooks

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