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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Aurora Trout in Canada


The native range of the Aurora Trout consists of two small waterbodies, Whirligig Lake and Whitepine Lake, located 110 km north of Sudbury, Ontario, in Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park. Although Henn and Rinkenbach (1925) listed a number of other waterbodies with possible occurrences, no authenticated records of indigenous breeding populations exist for any other waterbodies including Aurora Lake and Wilderness Lake, both of which were listed as having indigenous populations by Parker and Brousseau (1988). The population in Wilderness Lake reported as native by Sale (1967) was in fact introduced in 1955 when a few adults were transferred across the portage from Whitepine Lake (C. Elsie and D. Butler, personal communication). The infrequent reports of Aurora Trout in Marina Lake likely represent individuals that emigrated downstream from Whitepine Lake, rather than members of a breeding population in Marina Lake (Sale 1964).

During the 1990's self-sustaining Aurora Trout populations were reestablished in both Whirligig Lake and Whitepine Lake following water quality improvements brought about by whole-lake liming of Whirligig Lake. Hatchery-reared fish stocked in Southeast Campcot Lake and Northeast Campcot near Terrace Bay also reproduced successfully, but those populations were subsequently extirpated. Currently, 10 other lakes in Northern Ontario contain introduced Aurora Trout populations that are maintained by stocking of hatchery-reared juvenile fish (Figure 2): Liberty Lake, Carol Lake, Reed Lake, Pallet Lake, Nayowin Lake, Big Club Lake, Semple #54 Lake, Wynn Lake, Borealis Lake, and Alexander Lake.

Figure 2: Location of lakes with Aurora Trout

Figure 2. Location of lakes with Aurora Trout.

Closed square indicates the two native lakes with self-sustaining populations. Closed triangle indicates the two non-native lakes with reproducing populations that have been extirpated. Open circles indicate the 10 non-native lakes with populations maintained by stocking of hatchery-reared fish.