Species image (Illustration Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

What it looks like

  • green, grey, brown or almost black back, with lighter sides
  • white belly
  • light wormlike markings and spots on dark background, none are red
  • white leading edge on lower fins, but no black line
  • deeply forked tail


  • length: 30-80 centimetres (12-31 inches)
  • weight: 1-5 kilograms (2-10 pounds)
  • Ontario record: 28.6 kilograms (63.1 pounds)

Similar fish

Where it is found

Range of lake trout in Ontario

Species distribution map (modified from Mandrak and Crossman, 1992)


  • Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Superior and across the deep, cold lakes of the Canadian Shield
  • use Fish ON-Line, an interactive mapping tool, to find specific lakes and rivers


  • lakes at least 15 metres (50 feet) deep

Find a fishing spot with Fish ON-Line

Angling tips

  • found near the surface just after ice goes out in spring, and deeper as the water warms up
  • in early spring, some feed aggressively before dark
  • in the summer, trout hit best in the morning when surface waters are calm
  • use spinners, spoons and plugs with a fly rod, or as summer trolling baits
  • use special deep-water tackle in summer – wire line, lead-core line, downriggers, diving planers
  • try jigging, or still-fishing with large, dead minnows in deep water in summer
  • ice fish with minnows, lake herring or jigs with spoons or bait attached
  • take fish under 10 pounds with a medium-action spinning outfit with 8-pound test line
  • trophy fish, common in northern waters, need stronger line

Common baits

  • spoons, plugs, jigs
  • large live minnows or dead bait