Salvelinus namaycush x Salvelinus fontinalis
Splake are difficult to identify externally as they resemble both parents. The body shape is intermediate between the heavier lake trout and the slimmer brook trout. The tail shape is also intermediate. It is not as deeply forked as the lake trout and looks more like a slightly serrated brook trout tail. Splake are more similar to brook trout in coloration and pattern. It has brook trout-like vermiculations, red-orange ventral fins, and yellowish spots along the sides.
Splake are found in Lakes Superior and Huron in the Great Lakes, and in various medium-sized lakes in individual states, from Colorado, Utah, and Idaho in the western United States to northern New York and Maine in the east.
Splake do not grow as large as lake trout, but they do grow larger than brook trout. Most individuals weigh a few pounds, although specimens from large waters with abundant food can reach 8 to 12 pounds. The world all-tackle record is 20 pounds, 11 ounces.
Life history and Behavior
Although they can reproduce, not all splake do so. Some populations do not have suitable spawning habitat, which is usually rocky reefs near deep water. They are also capable of backcrossing (hybrids mate with the parent species), which occurs in hatcheries but not in the wild. Spawning occurs in the fall, usually in October, on rocky reefs. In the spring, the fish are often found near tributaries or on gravel banks, and in the summer they tend to move deeper.
Food and feeding habits
This omnivorous species feeds on smelt, white perch, yellow perch, crayfish, insects, grouse, and other fish.
|Species||S. fontinalis × S. namaycush|
|Conservation status||No information|
|Life span, years||No information|
|Maximum body weight, kg||9|
|Maximum length, cm||46|
|Sailing speed, m/s||No information|
|Threat to people||Edible|
|Way of eating||Predator|