The MNR netting report as received by Steve Kohut.

 

The general findings of the project were that the lake trout fishery has shown marked improvement since 1995, specifically, in 2002:

 

Keep in mind that the decrease in the average size of the native fish was a desirable outcome; in 1995 we found that there was a shortage of yearling lake trout, and attributed that shortage to predation from the stocked fish.  The current population of native lake trout exhibits a much broader range of sizes (both large and small fish) than in 1995.

 

A general observation was that many of the unclipped fish exhibited physical traits (body shape and colouration) of both the native and stocked strains of lake trout, indicating that there may be some hybridization between the two strains. However, from fish that died during the project (~20%), we saw that in all cases but one, these hybrid fish were feeding on plankton, and had the orange flesh typical of the native strain, which suggests that the behaviour and genetic makeup of the hybrids is closer to the native fish than to the stocked strain. We have submitted tissue samples from the mortalities to the MNR genetics lab for DNA analysis, but it will be some time before we could expect any results from them.