Lake whitefish


Lake whitefish
Lake whitefish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Genus: Coregonus
Species: C. clupeaformis
Binomial name
Coregonus clupeaformis
(Mitchill, 1818)

The lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), also called the Sault whitefish or gizzard fish, is a species of freshwater whitefish from North America.[1] Lake whitefish are found throughout much of Canada and parts of the northern United States, including all of the Great Lakes. A valuable commercial fish, they are also occasionally taken by sport fishermen. Smoked, refrigerated, vacuum-packed lake whitefish fillets are now commonly available in North American grocery stores.

Their colouration is olive-green to blue on the back, with silvery sides. They have a small mouth below a rounded snout, and a deeply forked tail. On average, they reach 17 to 22 inches and weigh 1.5 to 4 pounds. They are found in freshwater lakes where they prefer deep, cool water.

Lake whitefish spawn from September through January in water two to four metres in depth. In northwestern Canada, a large spawning migration enters the Athabasca Delta in late summer, moving upstream in the Athabasca River. The longest single movement of a tagged whitefish ever recorded was 388 km (241 mi), from Fort McMurray to the north shore of Lake Athabasca in Alberta, Canada.

The lake whitefish is considered Least Concern on the IUCN Red List list. However, the distinct stock called Lake Simcoe Whitefish is considered a threatened species in Canada. [2]

Natural predators include burbot, lake trout and northern pike.

Primarily bottom feeders, lake whitefish eat crustaceans, snails, insects, and other small aquatic organisms.

Since the end of the last glaciation (about 12000 years ago), whitefish have been able to re-colonize many North American lakes. As they invaded those environments, they have also diversified into different populations, such that they are now two main ecotypes recognized within the species: a normal and a dwarf ecotype. These normal and dwarf ecotypes are mainly differentiated by the benthic and pelagic zone they occupy, respectively. Normal whitefish also grow much bigger and live much longer than the dwarf ecotype.

Many of these populations live in sympatry, yet are reproductively isolated. The fact that they are young species makes them prime candidate to study the evolutionary forces driving their ecological divergence and reproductive isolation.

References

  1. ^ Wisconsin Sea Grant. 18 April. 2011
  2. ^ Endangered 12 Aug. 2007

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lake whitefish — Lake Lake, n. [AS. lac, L. lacus; akin to AS. lagu lake, sea, Icel. l[ o]gr; OIr. loch; cf. Gr. la kkos pond, tank. Cf. {Loch}, {Lough}.] A large body of water contained in a depression of the earth s surface, and supplied from the drainage of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lake whitefish — Whitefish White fish , n. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of several species of {Coregonus}, a genus of excellent food fishes allied to the salmons. They inhabit the lakes of the colder parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. The largest and most… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lake whitefish — silkinis sykas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Coregonus clupeaformis angl. common whitefish; lake whitefish rus. американский сиг; сельдевидный сиг ryšiai: platesnis terminas – sykai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • lake whitefish — noun found in the Great Lakes and north to Alaska • Syn: ↑Coregonus clupeaformis • Hypernyms: ↑whitefish • Member Holonyms: ↑Coregonus, ↑genus Coregonus * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • lake whitefish — a whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis, found in the Great Lakes and north to Alaska, used for food. [1860 65, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Bear Lake whitefish — Taxobox name = Bear Lake whitefish regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Actinopterygii ordo = Salmoniformes familia = Salmonidae genus = Prosopium species = P. abyssicola binomial = Prosopium abyssicola binomial authority = (Snyder,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bear Lake whitefish — ežerinis apvalusis sykas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Prosopium abyssicola angl. Bear Lake whitefish rus. глубоководный валёк; озёрный валёк ryšiai: platesnis terminas – apvalieji sykai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • Lake — Lake, n. [AS. lac, L. lacus; akin to AS. lagu lake, sea, Icel. l[ o]gr; OIr. loch; cf. Gr. la kkos pond, tank. Cf. {Loch}, {Lough}.] A large body of water contained in a depression of the earth s surface, and supplied from the drainage of a more… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lake dwellers — Lake Lake, n. [AS. lac, L. lacus; akin to AS. lagu lake, sea, Icel. l[ o]gr; OIr. loch; cf. Gr. la kkos pond, tank. Cf. {Loch}, {Lough}.] A large body of water contained in a depression of the earth s surface, and supplied from the drainage of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lake dwellings — Lake Lake, n. [AS. lac, L. lacus; akin to AS. lagu lake, sea, Icel. l[ o]gr; OIr. loch; cf. Gr. la kkos pond, tank. Cf. {Loch}, {Lough}.] A large body of water contained in a depression of the earth s surface, and supplied from the drainage of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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