Lake-Trout Lake Designation

Lake Trout thrive in deep, clean lakes.

Palmerston Lake is designated by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) a ‘Lake Trout’ lake. This is quite rare.  Only 1% of lakes in Ontario contain lake trout.  According to the OMNRF, Lake Trout is the only major, indigenous sport fish species in Ontario that is adapted to oligotrophic lakes (i.e. lakes with low levels of nutrients, high dissolved oxygen levels, and typically deep areas with very cold water). Its slow growth, late maturity, low reproductive potential and slow replacement rate make it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of human activities, including exploitation, enrichment from cottage septic systems, acidification, invasive species, and habitat destruction. Because of their high sensitivity to disturbance, special protection is required for these lakes and their Lake Trout populations. As a result, lands adjacent to Lake Trout lakes are subject to more restrictions on land use.  For example, disposition of Crown land for cottaging purposes is strongly discouraged. 

Read more about Ontario’s Lake-Trout Lake designation and about the  land-use restrictions surrounding Lake-Trout lakes. 


Lake Trout spawning beds in Palmerston Lake lake are indicated in this screenshot by the blue shaded areas.  Lake Trout spawn in late October on rocky shoals that get lots of wave action which keep them free of silt and highly oxygenated.  Click here to access the full map in the Land Information Ontario Geohub.

Lake Shore Capacity Assessment

Interested in learning more about the Lake Shore Capacity Assessment tool the Province uses to assist in determining whether or not a lake is ‘at capacity’ for cottage and other development?  We have put together a concise explanation of how land-use planners use the tool, especially in the context of a Lake Trout lake.  The Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations has also put together a good overview.  And here is a link to the documentation provided at the Province of Ontario’s website.