Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Trout, Lake

New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Trout, Lake Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Char, Laker, Mackinaw, Namaycush, Salmon Trout, Togue Lake Superior, Lake Huron Wild
Trout, Lake Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Char, Laker, Mackinaw, Namaycush, Salmon Trout, Togue Lake Michigan Wild
Trout, Rainbow/Steelhead Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Golden & Steelhead Trout U.S. Farmed

Lake Trout, Wild, Great Lakes

Great Lakes trout were reduced by overfishing and the introduction of non-native species. Due to recent increases, lake trout from Lake Huron and Lake Superior is a "Good Alternative." Concerns about low numbers in Lake Michigan result in an "Avoid" rating.

Consumer Note

Lake trout is available year-round and may be marketed fresh, frozen or smoked.


Lake trout is a long-lived predator that is distributed in lakes throughout North America. In the mid-1900s, overfishing reduced lake trout populations throughout the Great Lakes. They were further diminished by the introduction of invasive, non-native species that either competed with the trout for food or preyed on the trout itself.

While trout's essential habitat and spawning areas have been relatively undisturbed in the Great Lakes, populations in some of the lakes are in serious decline or have completely disappeared.

Fishery managers in the Great Lakes have made restoring lake trout populations a priority. However, success has been limited and lake trout stocks are still a critical conservation concern in Lake Michigan.

We recommend lake trout from Lake Superior and Lake Huron as a "Good Alternative," while lake trout from Lake Michigan is rated as "Avoid."

Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat