Freshwater Whitefish – Types | Size | Profile | Facts | Catch

The freshwater whitefish are fishes of the subfamily Coregoninae, which incorporates whitefishes (each freshwater and anadromous) and ciscoes, and is one in all three subfamilies within the salmon household Salmonidae.

Freshwater whitefish profile

Apart from the subfamily Coregoninae, the family Salmonidae consists of the salmon, trout, and char species of the subfamily Salmoninae, and grayling species of the subfamily Thymallinae. Freshwater whitefish are distributed primarily in comparatively cool waters all through the northern elements of the Northern Hemisphere.

There are two species of whitefish that are fished in British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories: spherical and lake. Round whitefish, Prosopium cylindraceum, is an extremely regarded sport fish and is wanted for its high-quality flesh.

The freshwater whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis, is a well-studied fish due to its significance within the business and leisure fisheries of Canada.

Lake whitefish are harvested within the deep waters of bigger lakes, usually via the ice in winter. A white to gray coloration with a white underbelly, freshwater whitefish might be recognized by its deeply forked tail fin and a small head.

Its delicate white flesh is essentially flaky and has wealthy taste. Its reputation is attributed to its versatility since freshwater whitefish can be utilized as the primary ingredient in nearly any recipe for white-fleshed fish and is well-liked for smoking.

Freshwater whitefish Description

Freshwater whitefish are comparable in look to different whitefishes within the Coregoninae subfamily of the salmon household Salmonidae, such because the northern cisco (Corgenous artedi).

As with all salmonids, they have an adipose fin. To the excellence from cisco, the freshwater whitefish has a snout which overhangs the quick decrease jaw, in order that the mouth opens in a barely inferior place. Thus the fish can feed on the underside of lake beds or seize meals particulates out of the water or from the floor of a water body.

The cisco in flip has a brief snout with a decreased jaw that extends past the snout. Both the cisco and freshwater whitefish are discernible from the mooneye because of the small posterior dorsal adipose fin.

Another notable function of the freshwater whitefish is the presence of two small flaps in every nostril. Their coloration is usually silver to white with olive to pale-green or brown dorsal hues.

The ventral fins are white and the tail has a dark posterior edge. The tail fin of the freshwater whitefish is severely forked, making it a quick swimmer.

freshwater whitefish from inland lakes can attain a weight upwards of 5 kilos (2,300 g) (the biggest freshwater Whitefish caught on rod and reel is 15kilos 6 oz from Clear Lake Ontario Canada on May 21, 1983, by Chris T. D. Webster in keeping with the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward Wis USA]]). On common, the freshwater whitefish weighs solely four kilos. They can develop to 31 inches (79 cm) and generally attain 20 inches (51 cm).

freshwater whitefish


Freshwater whitefish are cool water fish. They are present in a lot of inland lakes, and so they have been recognized to enter brackish waters. The freshwater whitefish is distributed from Alaska and western Canada to the Atlantic coastal drainage of Maine and in New Brunswick north to Labrador.

Freshwater whitefish Reproduction

Freshwater whitefish spawn from September via January in water two to 4 meters in depth throughout the nighttime. In the autumn, mature freshwater whitefish enter the shallows to put their eggs on shoals of rubble and gravel.

There is not any parental care for the younger. In the next spring, the younger will hatch.[6] In northwestern Canada, a big spawning migration enters the Athabasca Delta in late summer, transferring upstream within the Athabasca River.

The longest single motion of a tagged whitefish ever recorded was 388 km (241 mi), from Fort McMurray to the north shore of Lake Athabasca in Alberta, Canada.


Fish of larval and postlarval phases feed on plankton. Once the larvae attain 3–four inches (76–102 mm) they swap to feeding on bottom-dwelling animals (snail, insect larvae, zebra mussels, and fingernail clams) which they are going to eat for the rest of their lives.

In late June and July, some inland lake populations of ciscoes and freshwater whitefish go away the deep, cool waters to feast on rising mayflies and midges. The freshwater whitefish’s natural predators embrace burbot, lake trout, and northern pike.

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Freshwater whitefish Life Cycle

Not all Broad Whitefish spawn each year. Spawning happens from fall to early winter. They congregate over gravel and launch eggs and milt (sperm).

The eggs are heavier than water so that they sink to the underside and lodge within the gravel. In spring, the eggs hatch, then larvae drift downstream to feeding areas in estuaries and shallow nearshore coastal waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas.

They then transfer back upriver the place they proceed to mature and ultimately spawn. Throughout their life, they transfer amongst freshwater, brackish, or marine water to feed and overwinter. Some make intensive coastal migrations. Learn more about deepwater cisco fish.

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