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06/10/2021 02:00PM  
My wife and I are going to embark on an 8 day loop that includes some Lake Trout waters like Ima and Kek. With the warm weather, I imagine the LT are going to be deep, say in that 40-60' range.

We are planning to just eat freeze dried meals, and weren't planning to keep any fish; just catch them for fun. If I bring LT up from 40-60', and I'm going to kill them? Do I need to fish for something else, and avoid the LT?
 
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mgraber
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06/10/2021 02:59PM  
It can absolutely be deadly for lakers to be caught in the heat. The depth isn't the issue as Lake Trout have ducted air bladders and can release air if taken from deep water. It is the temperature that is tough on them. I read a study done by biologists that confirmed this. My personal experience was on Sarah lake in Quetico. There was a group of young men that were doing well jigging for lakers, and appeared to be releasing all of them, but the temps were upper 80's to lower 90's and the surface water temp was around 80. The next day when paddling down the shore down wind from their fishing area we found around 6 dead lakers washed up on shore. If you do catch any, don't bring them in to canoe, don't fight them to exhaustion, and get them back as quickly as possible. If they don't have the energy to get back to the cooler water quickly , they will perish. What the study showed was a lake trout can move in to water as warm as 70 degrees for short periods to feed, but an exhausted, oxygen deficient trout will not survive long at that temperature. Since the Sarah lake incident we only fish for lakers in the cooler months or when wanting them for dinner.
 
Stumpy
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06/10/2021 04:16PM  
mgraber: "It can absolutely be deadly for lakers to be caught in the heat. The depth isn't the issue as Lake Trout have ducted air bladders and can release air if taken from deep water. It is the temperature that is tough on them. I read a study done by biologists that confirmed this. My personal experience was on Sarah lake in Quetico. There was a group of young men that were doing well jigging for lakers, and appeared to be releasing all of them, but the temps were upper 80's to lower 90's and the surface water temp was around 80. The next day when paddling down the shore down wind from their fishing area we found around 6 dead lakers washed up on shore. If you do catch any, don't bring them in to canoe, don't fight them to exhaustion, and get them back as quickly as possible. If they don't have the energy to get back to the cooler water quickly , they will perish. What the study showed was a lake trout can move in to water as warm as 70 degrees for short periods to feed, but an exhausted, oxygen deficient trout will not survive long at that temperature. Since the Sarah lake incident we only fish for lakers in the cooler months or when wanting them for dinner."

Great advice
 
06/10/2021 05:52PM  
mgraber: "It can absolutely be deadly for lakers to be caught in the heat. The depth isn't the issue as Lake Trout have ducted air bladders and can release air if taken from deep water. It is the temperature that is tough on them. I read a study done by biologists that confirmed this. My personal experience was on Sarah lake in Quetico. There was a group of young men that were doing well jigging for lakers, and appeared to be releasing all of them, but the temps were upper 80's to lower 90's and the surface water temp was around 80. The next day when paddling down the shore down wind from their fishing area we found around 6 dead lakers washed up on shore. If you do catch any, don't bring them in to canoe, don't fight them to exhaustion, and get them back as quickly as possible. If they don't have the energy to get back to the cooler water quickly , they will perish. What the study showed was a lake trout can move in to water as warm as 70 degrees for short periods to feed, but an exhausted, oxygen deficient trout will not survive long at that temperature. Since the Sarah lake incident we only fish for lakers in the cooler months or when wanting them for dinner."

That makes sense. I appreciate the feedback. My wife has never caught one, and I've only caught a few. We don't normally target them. I may have her catch one, and we'll just grill it up.
 
06/10/2021 06:19PM  
When it’s warm, I only fish for them if I’m planning on eating them. Cooler times are a different story.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/10/2021 08:53PM  
Keep an eye on water temps as they will vary widely even in the heat. We just fished sag, gunflint, north, and Clearwater the last 5 days and found surface temps from 56 to 80 degrees depending on the lake and the day. What I’m saying is there will be times when you probably should not, and times when you won’t have to worry. Go prepared with gear that will allow you to bring them to the boat quickly. We were fishing at 30-35 feet with 100-120 feet of line line out and we were able to boat a 25 incher in less than 2 minutes from strike to net because we had medium heavy rods with reels that could winch them up fast. That fish rocketed straight down and I have very little oubt he’s still swimming now.
 
06/11/2021 07:03AM  
Don't use a net (unless your going to eat them). Use barbless hooks. When releasing deep caught walleyes or LT I will throw them back like a spear, head first. This gives them some momentum heading in the right direction.
 
06/11/2021 06:32PM  
AmarilloJim: "Don't use a net (unless your going to eat them). Use barbless hooks. When releasing deep caught walleyes or LT I will throw them back like a spear, head first. This gives them some momentum heading in the right direction."

Interesting.
 
06/11/2021 06:32PM  
thegildedgopher: "Keep an eye on water temps as they will vary widely even in the heat. We just fished sag, gunflint, north, and Clearwater the last 5 days and found surface temps from 56 to 80 degrees depending on the lake and the day. What I’m saying is there will be times when you probably should not, and times when you won’t have to worry. Go prepared with gear that will allow you to bring them to the boat quickly. We were fishing at 30-35 feet with 100-120 feet of line line out and we were able to boat a 25 incher in less than 2 minutes from strike to net because we had medium heavy rods with reels that could winch them up fast. That fish rocketed straight down and I have very little oubt he’s still swimming now."

hmmm, good to know. I suppose a deep lake, takes a long time to warm up.
 
06/13/2021 02:44PM  
thegildedgopher: "Keep an eye on water temps as they will vary widely even in the heat. We just fished sag, gunflint, north, and Clearwater the last 5 days and found surface temps from 56 to 80 degrees depending on the lake and the day. What I’m saying is there will be times when you probably should not, and times when you won’t have to worry. Go prepared with gear that will allow you to bring them to the boat quickly. We were fishing at 30-35 feet with 100-120 feet of line line out and we were able to boat a 25 incher in less than 2 minutes from strike to net because we had medium heavy rods with reels that could winch them up fast. That fish rocketed straight down and I have very little oubt he’s still swimming now."

Good advice. Have caught Lakers in warm weather a lot like this. Don’t fish deep, 20-30’ deep is all you need to be over deep water. I’ve done this in August never fish deeper than 30’…you will catch more deeper but they will likely die later…Dredging them up from the depths will kill them in warm weather. Don’t use light gear…extended fight kills them. Agree a net helps. Good rubberized coated net, gets them in the boat or along side the boat and released quicker with less fight/stress to the fish. Release it along side of the canoe if it is going to live it will shoot out of your hands like a rocket on it’s own. If it can’t swim on its own…keep it and stop fishing…ethically speaking.

T
 
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