The Aurora Trout (Background Information)
Did you know that Aurora trout were originally found in only 2 lakes in the world and these lakes are in Ontario? The Aurora trout is considered to be a color variant of brook trout which has evolved over thousands of years. Aurora trout lack worm-like markings across the back as well as the red spots of a brook trout.
Their name apparently originated from the brilliant markings and shimmering coloration reminiscent of the northern lights, Aurora Borealis.
Aurora trout were known to occur in only two northeastern Ontario lakes: Whitepine and Whirlygig. They disappeared from these lakes in the 1960s probably as a result of acid rain. Angling for Aurora trout was closed across the province in 1983. Aurora trout were classed as an endangered species in 1987 by the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada.
As a result of fish culture efforts at the Hill's Lake Fish Culture Station, near Englehart, Ontario, the Aurora trout were preserved and have been restocked back into Whitepine and Whirlygig lakes as well as ten other northern Ontario lakes. Natural reproduction by introduced Aurora trout has been documented in two new lakes.
A long term management plan has been prepared for Aurora trout. The goals are to preserve self-sustaining populations of Aurora trout in their native habitat and to introduce Aurora trout into a limited number of non-native lakes to maintain broodstock for artificial breeding and to provide a limited number of trophy angling opportunities.
Angling for Aurora trout was opened on a limited basis on nine of the stocked lakes. Neither of the original two lakes is open to angling. Three lakes are open each year on a three year rotational basis.
· The use of live bait is prohibited on these lakes.
· The use of motors is prohibited on these lakes.
· The catch and possession limit is one (1) fish for holders of a sport fishing licence and you can only catch one (1) per day. The catch and possession limit is zero (0) fish for holders of a conservation licence. You can not fish on an Aurora Trout lake at all with a conservation licence.
There is no multi catch-&-release. If you catch an Aurora Trout, you can keep it or let it go but you cannot fish for the rest of the day for trout. To fish the next day if you kept your trout, you must eat the Aurora Trout first as you can only have one (1) trout in your possession.
There has been some confusion about NO MULTI-CATCH & RELEASE. There are additional regulations pertaining to Aurora Trout under the Endangered Species Act. You are allowed to catch one (1) Aurora Trout per day. You can keep it or let it go but that's it. No more fishing for the rest of the day on that lake. If you do keep the trout, you must eat it to be able to fish the next day. If you give the trout to friends, you cannot fish on that lake until they eat the trout because legally it's still the trout that you caught.
August Fishing is Dangerous to Aurora Trout:
There is no multi catch-&-release because of the high mortality rate of released fish. We can't have people catch-&-release 50 Aurora Trout in a day only to have half of them die. That would defeat the purpose of having any regulations in the first place. Aurora Trout are a deep-water fish during the heat of the summer, especially in August, but when brought to the surface, they don't burp out air like a Lake Trout. As a result, their internal organs get bruised or even rupture thus 50% of Aurora Trout would die if released. Also, you are catching them 50 feet deep in 50-degree water and then trying to release them in 85-degree water on the surface. They also suffer from temperature shock. The safest way to fish for Aurora Trout is on the surface and the best time is late summer and early fall. They will come to the surface late in the evening, early in the morning or on a rainy day in August if it is unusually cool out. By September they should be easily taken on the surface with a fly, which is a safe time to catch them.
Seasons are open from August 1 - October 15. Northeastern Ontario:
· Zone 8: Timmins Township Lake # 57; open 2013
· Zone 8: Wynn Lake; open 2013
· Zone 10: Carol Lake; open 2014
· Zone 10: Tyrrell Township Lake #21; open 2014
· Zone 11: Liberty Lake; open 2014
· Zone 8: Big Club Lake; open 2015
· Zone 8: Nayowin Lake; open 2015
· Zone 8: Pallet Lake; open 2015
· Zone 7: Borealis Lake; open 2013
Click here to view zone maps (.pdf) - Scroll Down to see the links
Recovery Strategy for the Aurora Trout (Adobe .pdf - 490 k)
1941 Aurora Trout Fishing Trip Story - (reprinted from Field and Stream April 1941)