they are native to only two lakes in the world. Read that again: two lakes in the entire world!

The Aurora Trout is one of the rarest fish in the world. It is not because they have been over fished, it is because they have such a very small native distribution – they are native to only two lakes in the world. Read that again: two lakes in the entire world!

Lake Whitepine and Whirligig lake is where they were found in 1923 by four American anglers from the northeast Unites States that were on a fishing vacation in northern Canada.

Both lakes are located in Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Wilderness park, which is to the northeast of Sudbury.

Near Extinction

As you must be thinking, with such a limited distribution, how did they survive so long?

Being that the last ice age was 10,000 years ago, the mutation that has resulted in the Aurora Trout occurred relatively recently, which has prevented them from being able to enter other watersheds and increasing their numbers.

The Aurora Trout was almost wiped out in the 1960s due to mining activities. Much of northern Ontario and the area around sudbury is rich in natural resources and subject to intensive mining and forestry.

Due to smelting in the area, sulphur built up in the atmosphere and feel back to the ground as acid rain. This rain caused the area lakes to become acidic and killed off many local fish species. The mining industry has done a lot to clean up their emissions but it was the efforts of the provincial government that ended up saving their Aurora Trout.

The Ministry of Natural Resources was aware of the decline in the area river and lakes and was determined to prevent the Aurora Trout from vanishing in to history.

They managed to transport nine adult Aurora Trout to Hill’s Lake Hatchery. There, the Aurora Trout were able to breed and bring the subspecies back from the brink of extinction.

Reintroduction to Lake Whitepine and Whirligig Lake

As the Aurora Trout were able to increase their numbers in the Hill Lake Hatchery, the Ministry began reintroducing them back into Lake Whitepine and Whirligig Lake.

They also introduced them into 12 there local area lakes in order to diversify the species and increase its odds to survive other environmental threats.

However, efforts to date have not been very successful. Of the 12 lakes they were introduced, only the original two are able to sustain their populations without being restocked.

Success Factors for their Survival

In order to be able to survive and sustain healthy populations, Aurora Trout require cold water below 68°F/20°C.

Lakes that offer springs that bring cool water are important and lakes that are deep enough to provide cold water are also sought out and required to sustain their populations. Introducing them into shallow lakes will prove unsuccessful.