Fish Commonly Found in Red Indian Lake

Red Indian Lake is the second largest lake on the Island of Newfoundland and home to 4 common species of fish. However we will only be including 3 of the species below, Brook Trout, Ouananiche and Arctic Char, as part of our Derby competition. As per the government regulations, it is illegal to retain Atlantic Salmon in Red Indian Lake, so be sure you note the differences between the Salmon and Ouananiche by the diagram below!

Brook Trout

Brook Trout are the second most common fish found in Red Indian Lake. They're wild and ready for a fight.

Newfoundland and Labrador is home to the best Brook Trout angling on the planet. It's the land of big fish, commonly two to five pounds, but you might get lucky and find a seven or eight pound trophy! 

The diagram below shows the difference between a Spawning and Non Spawning Brook Trout.

above shows the difference between a spawning male and a non spawning male or female. 

above shows the difference between a spawning male and a non spawning male or female. 

Arctic Char

A northern cousin to the Brook Trout, Char may live 10 or more years and grow up to 15 pounds or more. This fish has been found in areas of Red Indian Lake, however the species is so rare that its presence was not noted before 1972.

It has been rumored that the Arctic Char of Labrador may even break the record for the largest wild Arctic Char, weighing in at a whopping 26.86 pounds.


The most dominant fish found in Red Indian Lake is the Ouananiche, or Landlocked Salmon. They are lightning-fast swimmers and acrobatic jumpers, so prepare for some excitement!

Take note of the diagram below to be sure you can tell the difference between the Ouananiche and Atlantic Salmon. The most common differences being the colour and shape of the tail.

A world record landlocked salmon was caught in Labrador and set at 22 pounds, 11 ounces! 

Above shows the difference between an Atlantic salmon and ouananiche (landlocked salmon).

Above shows the difference between an Atlantic salmon and ouananiche (landlocked salmon).

Atlantic Salmon

Not to be confused with the Ouananiche (Landlocked Salmon). The diagram above shows that Atlantic Salmon have a V shaped tail, compared to the Ouananiche. Salmon also have a slightly different colour, commonly being more silver, however, if an Atlantic Salmon has been away from the ocean for awhile, it will also turn more green-brown in colour. 

The rules for catching an Atlantic Salmon are quite different than the rules for catching an Ouananiche, so be sure you can tell the difference!

No Atlantic Salmon are allowed to be retained in Red Indian Lake. The watershed above the Exploits Dam is strictly Catch and Release only. So unfortunately, we will not accept Atlantic Salmon as part of the Fish Derby Competition.  

The information above is from the Government websites listed below. For more information about fishing in these areas feel free to click on the links!

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Residents and Non-Residents

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are able to fish Red Indian Lake without a Licence to take part in the Derby. However, if you would like to fish Atlantic Salmon as per the Catch and Release Guideline you will need to have your Salmon Licence on you at all times. 

Non-Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador will need to purchase a Non-Resident Trout Licence for about $8.00 to fish in our Derby. No guide is required for Non-Residents if fishing occurs withing 800 meters of a Highway, however if further than 800 meters you will require a guide. You can contact any of the outfitters on our Accommodations Page for more information on getting a guide for this area.

Retention Limits

All three of the fish species that are included in this derby have the same limits. The limits are also the same for both Residents and Non-Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Per Day: 12 Fish or 5 lbs +1