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Dave Reid

A Revised Lake Trout Rehabilitation Plan for Ontario Waters of Lake Huron

INTRODUCTION
This document presents an updated and revised approach for rehabilitation of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) populations in Ontario waters of Lake Huron. Lake Huron hereafter refers to Ontario waters of all three basins of the lake (the main basin, North Channel and Georgian Bay, Figure 4) unless otherwise specified. This document builds on past lake trout rehabilitation efforts for Lake Huron described in Argyle et al. (1991), OMNR (1996) (hereafter referred to as the 1996 Plan), Ebener (1998) and most pertinent, the recent review of rehabilitation efforts in Ontario waters (hereafter referred to as the Review) (OMNR 2009). This revised plan provides an assessment of progress towards lake trout rehabilitation in Lake Huron since the 1996 Plan was released, and will present a modified approach for rehabilitation efforts based on a critical review of the 1996 Plan presented in OMNR (2009). To clarify, the term ‘lake trout rehabilitation’ will continue to be defined as “…re-establishment of lake trout populations that, through natural reproduction, can sustain themselves under controlled exploitation” as was defined in the 1996 Plan.

This plan proposes a revised goal and objectives that more accurately reflects the influences of stocking on rehabilitation timelines. Strategies to rehabilitate lake trout including the continued use of Lake Trout Rehabilitation Zones (LTRZs), various stocking related actions and means to control exploitation rates will be described. Criteria for evaluation of progress towards rehabilitation as well as tactics to gather data in support of these criteria will be presented. Ecosystem influences on lake trout rehabilitation such as sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control, exotic species, and research will also be discussed. Lastly, stocking, assessment and management needs for each rehabilitation zone will be outlined in Appendix A in an effort to provide clear, specific direction for the future.

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