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

Protection

Since 1983 the Aurora Trout Management Committee, composed of OMNR biologists, technicians and hatchery staff, has overseen the management of Aurora Trout. The current management objectives are: (1) to maintain the Aurora Trout gene pool and restore self-sustaining populations to their native habitat; and (2) to introduce Aurora Trout into a limited number of non-native lakes to maintain a brood stock, establish one reproducing satellite population and provide limited angling opportunities. In 1987 the Aurora Trout was assigned an "endangered" designation by COSEWIC. The Conservation Data Centre rating is G5T, ON-S1 and Ontario recognizes the form as endangered, but it is not regulated under the Endangered Species Act.

All lakes that supported reproducing Aurora Trout populations during the 1990’s are designated as fish sanctuaries. Angling is not permitted at any time on those four lakes, nor on Alexander Lake which is used as a source of eggs for the hatchery brood stock. Limited angling is allowed in the 9 other non-native lakes containing stocked hatchery-reared fish. Those lakes are opened to angling once every 3 years from August 1 to October 15. The catch and possession limits are one Aurora Trout per licenced angler or zero for anglers with a conservation licence. To prevent the accidental introduction of other species, the use of live baitfish is prohibited in these angling lakes.

The habitat of the Aurora Trout is not protected by any specific legislation. However, the watersheds of the two native lakes are protected from industrial acitivities (eg. logging, mining) by virtue of their location in a wilderness park. General protection for all populations is provided by the federal Fisheries Act.