The Splake is a hybrid of two fish species resulting from the crossing of a male brook trout and a female lake trout. The name itself is aportmanteau of speckled trout (another name for brook trout) and lake trout, and may have been used to describe such hybrids as early as the 1880s. Hybrids of the male lake trout with the female brook trout have also been produced, but are not as successful.
How To Identify:
Splake and brook trout have very similar coloration patterns, making it very difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish between the two species. Splake tend to have a slight fork in the tail, a trait passed down from its lake trout parent, while brook trout tend to have no fork or "square" tails.
How To Catch:
During spring, just after ice-out, Splake can be found in shallow water and can be caught near the surface with light tackle or flies. As the water temperature rises, the trout move out into deeper water to feed on minnows and other fish at or near the thermocline. Like brook trout, Splake can be shy and spooky, but will also take a range of small minnow-imitating plugs as well as small, flashy spoons and spinners. Ice fishing for Splake can also be very successful.
They have been stocked in much of Ontario, in lakes that have marginal habitat for either lake trout or brook trout.