Splake Trout – Lake and Brook Trout Hybrid

Splake trout - Brook and Lake trout hybrid

Splake Trout Facts

The name is derived from Speckled trout (a common name for brooktrout) and lake = Splake
The Splake is a hybrid of a male brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and a female lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Both of these species are members of the same family and interbreeding is quite common. Splakes are not terribly successful breeders; because of this they are commonly used to stock lakes for easy control of the populations. These hybrids have traits of both parent species and have faster growth rates than either parent species has on their own. Splake’s are known to grow as much as 18 inches in two years time, making them a desirable sport fish. They are also eager to eat lures and are generally considered to be fairly easy for an angler to catch. Splake have been produced since the 1870’s in hatcheries.

On occasion the female brook trout and male lake trout will partake in breeding to produce offspring called “brookinaw.” This name is derived from the name Mackinaw which is a common name for lake trout.

Identification

It can often be difficult to tell the difference between a brook and the hybrid. An easy way to tell is by looking at the tail. Splake tend to have a small fork in the tail, this trait is passed down from the lake trout. The brook trout tend to have no fork visible in their tails, hence the name “square tails”.

These fish can often reach weights of over ten pounds, anything over 11 lbs is generally considered trophy size. However the world record splake is over 22 lbs.

Common foods of the splake include:

  • Alewives
  • Smelt
  • Shiners
  • Various other small bait fish.

References and Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splake

http://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing/species/identification/splake.htm

 

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