Content for this site written by
Ontario Fishing News
How to ID Aurora Trout
How to Locate Aurora Trout
How to Help Aurora Trout
Fishing for Aurora Trout
The Aurora's Recovery Strategy
Story of the discovery of the Aurora Trout
Carnegie Museum Report of the Discovery
1941 Fishing Trip for The Aurora
Champs Natural History Card
Other Aurora Links
Aurora Trout Photo
Old and Antique Fishing Lures
THE AURORA TROUT
Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis also known as the Aurora
Trout was originally found in North-eastern Ontario, only in two
lakes named Whitepine and Whirligig. These two lakes can be
found in the watershed within
Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial
Park, north of Sudbury, Ontario.
The first Aurora specimen ever to be analyzed by humans was
brought to the Carnegie Museum located in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania by a man that was part of a group of American
fisherman that returned from a fishing trip in Canada during
1923. William H. Rinkenbach was the man’s name from the group of
fisherman that brought the specimen into the museum. A year
later even after other fish had been reported, scientists
finally came to the conclusion that these anglers had discovered
a new species. Mr. Rindenbach dubbed the species “Aurora” after
the glistening Canadian Northern Lights often spotted in
Ontario’s sky at night.
During the 1960’s acid rain and pollution virtually killed all
Aurora trout reproduction in the two lakes. In 1983 angling was
finally closed on Aurora’s for the entire season throughout
Ontario and in 1987 the Aurora Trout was classed as an
endangered species by the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in
Canada. Before the fish were killed by acid rain and pollution
in the 1960’s, nine adult fish were caught and transported to a
provincial fish hatchery at Hill’s Lakes near Charlton, Ontario.
Paul Graf the hatchery’s manager is responsible for breeding the
Aurora’s in captivity. Although, Paul Graf is responsible for
today’s population of Aurora’s, he was not the first to bring
eggs into the Hill Hatchery. In the early fall of 1955, A. Elsey
a former district biologist at Swastika collected 10 000 eggs
from the connecting streams of Whitepine and Whirligig Lake.
These eggs were transported to the Hill hatchery unsuccessfully
and Elsey quickly learned the effects of extensive human
handling. Later in the fall he returned to the lake taking eggs
from fish caught from different areas rather than in the stream.
He then airlifted them by helicopter successfully to the
hatchery for further incubation.
In the late 1980’s the two original lakes were treated with lime
to help maintain a pH level of 5 because the aurora trout were
going to be re-introduced in the lakes. Natural reproduction has
been documented in the lakes since the treatment took place but
has since begun to decline, again because of acid rain.
Presently the Aurora Trout can now be found in a total of twelve
lakes including Whirligig and Whitepine. The Aurora trout is
currently still on the endangered species list by the Committee
on the Status of Wildlife in Canada and is also protected under
the federal Fisheries Act.