How to identify a Splake
The name “splake” is a combination of the words “speckled” from the speckled (or brook) trout and lake trout. The splake is difficult to identify externally because it resembles both parents in different aspects. The body shape is intermediate between the heavier lake trout and the slimmer brook trout. The shape of the tail is also a combination of the brook trout’s square tail and the lake trout’s more lunate tail. The tail of the splake is not as deeply forked as that of the lake trout, and more closely resembles the slightly indented tail of the brook trout. In coloration and makings, the splake more closely resembles the brook trout. It can be positively identified by the number of pyloric caeca, the worm-like appendages on the intestinal tract right after the stomach. The brook trout, which is the smaller parent, has only 23-55 (usually less than 50) pyloric caeca, while the intermediate-sized hybrid has 65-85, and the lake trout, the larger parent, has 93-208 caeca (most often 120-180).
Where to catch Splake
The splake has been “planted” in the Great Lakes and other parts of North America, particularly in Ontario, Canada where a program for selective breeding of this hybrid has been underway for some time with considerable success.
|The body shape is intermediate between the heavier lake trout and the slimmer brook trout|
|Splake tend to have a slight fork in the tail|
|Counting the pyloric caeca (finger-like projections of the intestine) is the only positive identification: splake (65-85); brook trout (23-55); lake trout (93+)|
Acknowledgements: We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.