Their closest relatives include trout, salmon, grayling, char, and more. Table 1. or more! Further, it describes at least seven distinct species of related fish, all found in Arctic and sub-Arctic fresh and salt water. A Lake Whitefish species complex DU decision chart. Currently, there are about 50,000 known species of fish, with new species being identified every year! With a carnivorous diet, this fish feeds primarily on small invertebrates. In a 2016 status assessment, the Department determined that whitefish remained present in about 50 waters in Maine, but many of those waters no longer supported self-sustaining populations, meaning we are likely to see continuing decline of the species, including complete loss of whitefish populations in a number of lakes. Updated date: 2/6/17 An iconic fish of the north, the elusive Lake Whitefish is as challenging to catch as it is tasty. Because they reach respectable sizes, they house the schools in relatively large enclosures with cold water that replicates their natural habitats. The Lake Whitefish is a North American species of fish in the Salmonidae family. Post date: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 20:48. Atlantic whitefish, Coregonus huntsmani in the genus Coregonus However the fishing in the lake is a well kept secret, and fishing is nothing short of awesome. Their closest relatives include trout, salmon, grayling, char, and more. Whitefish is known for its' ski resorts. 41 State House Station However, Kottelat’s handbook clearly referred to a specimen, held at the Natural History Museum of Geneva, which had been designated as “Balchen” by Fatio in 1885. As the bulk of their food resides on or near the lake bottom during winter, most whitefish are caught in the lowest two to three feet of the water column. Adult Size: Whitefish are normally 14-20 inches long and weigh 1-3 pounds, but can reach lengths of 25 inches and over 6 pounds. Lake whitefish are easily distinguished from fallfish (chub) by having a small mouth and the presence of a small adipose fin located on the back between the dorsal and caudal fins. The back may be dark brown to black in some inland lake specimens. Our pontoon charter boat on the lake is comfortable with lots of room. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Lake whitefish declines have coincided with the introduction of rainbow smelt, and research in Maine and elsewhere has identified smelt as the primary cause to reproductive failure and eventual loss of whitefish populations. Until recently, few sport anglers had discovered the special techniques required to catch lake whitefish, but this situation is changing, and any angler who has learned to fish whitefish successfully will find it well worth the effort. Whitefish Lake is 712 hectares with a maximum depth of 18.9 meters and a mean depth of 8.1 meters. Since Great Lakes whitefish compared favorably with these top selling fish species, it can compete with their qualities in the market place and consumers should give our local Great Lakes whitefish a … Scales are large. Whitefish spawn in November and December, usually in the shallows. Physical Address: After spawning, the adults leave and provide no parental care or protection of the eggs and young fry. It is found in the largest of the deep lakes in the Great Lakes drainage, in lower elevation lakes of the Adirondacks and in Otsego Lake. The body is somewhat laterally compressed. Fish make up more than half of the known vertebrate species in the world. Populations migrate seasonally between deeper and shallower regions. You can catch them with live bait or a jigging spoon, either in … Populations of whitefish live in groups, known as schools. While overfishing once plummeted the populations of this fish, it has recovered with the implementation of fishery management. Lines connecting DUs reflect different stages of the decision process. Sport Fish Species: Walleye, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Lake Whitefish, Burbot Indigenous Fishery: Yes Environment and Parks Region: Lower Athabasca Region (LAR) Fisheries Management Zone: Northern Boreal 1 (NB1) Fisheries Management Office: Lac La Biche Background Whitefish Lake is approximately 45 km south of the Hamlet of Lac La Biche and is part of the Amisk River watershed. The tail is deeply forked and they have an adipose fin. Game Qualities Average. Typically they are silvery to white in color with an olive to pale greenish-brown back. Whitefish (Lake) Size 2 to 8lbs. Aquatic life Fish species. Despite the fact that freshwater rivers and lakes represent only about 1 percent of the world's water, more than 41 percent of all fish species are found there. He decided to use it to produce a popular native species, lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), which was experiencing a sharp decline in the wild. These dwarf fish reach a very small size, mature earlier, and generally have a much shorter life span. Water depths between 30 and 60 feet are usually the most productive. Whitefish Lake is located in the resort community of Whitefish, and is one of the most popular lakes in Montana. All three species are found both in Lake Thun and in Lake Brienz. Aquariums often keep this fish with other similar species. In the spring, they swim into shallow water, return to deep water in summer, back to shallow in the fall to spawn, and back to deep in the winter. Older fish often develop a fleshy bump at the should… As they grow larger, some whitefish feed on small smelts and other fish. Its dorsal fin sits midway down its broad body, giving it something of a hunchback appearance. Whitefish Lake is located in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. People refer to this species by a number of other names, including gizzard fish, common whitefish, Great Lakes whitefish, inland whitefish, and more. Lake Whitefish – Another Great Lake species, this fish is important to commercial fishermen. People eat their meat, and also eat their eggs as caviar. Bear Lake whitefish are almost indistinguishable from young Bonneville whitefish (which get much larger than Bear Lake whitefish), and scale counts are the best way to distinguish the two. This whitefish species lives in North America. Whitefish is one of the top walleye fisheries for Swan Valley residents. However, most of its diet consists of insects, insect larvae, fish larvae, fish eggs, small shrimp, and other invertebrates. This species has your typical “fish” appearance, with a torpedo-like body and silvery scales. Recently we have seen very positive results in waters with increased numbers of lake trout, which have caused depressed smelt numbers. TTY: Maine Relay 711 The lake sturgeon of Lake Superior are the oldest and largest of the Great Lakes fish species, capable of reaching over 7 feet in length and over 200 pounds, with males living around 55 years on average and females living up to 100 years. They catch most of their prey along the bottom of the lake or pond. However, Whitefish Lake has populations of lake trout that rival that of nearby Flathead Lake, with fish often exceeding twenty pounds. Along with other cold-water fish species in Lake Simcoe, the decline in lake whitefish abundance in the lake has indicated deteriorating habitat quality. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Restrictive fishing regulations over the past two decades and a whitefish hatchery stocking program (from 2003-2009) appear to have helped in some waters, but have resulted in limited success to date. During spawning, the females swim to the surface of the water and release their eggs. A number of lakes contain populations of "dwarf" size fish where mature adult whitefish attain lengths of only 6-8 inches. Often scorned by mainstream anglers, this fish is a tremendously under-appreciated facet of our northern aquatic ecosystems. Fried, baked, broiled, smoked, or canned, it is simply delicious. Read on to learn about the Lake Whitefish. Discover what species are most popular in Whitefish Lake, and what gear has been used. Appendix A: Fish New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan Appendix A Fish-65 Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis Federal Listing State SC Listing Global Rank State Rank S3 Regional Status High Photo by Submitted by angler Justification (Reason for Concern in NH) The lake whitefish is considered vulnerable in New Hampshire, and is believed to be limited to 6 water bodies in the state. Other articles where Lake whitefish is discussed: protacanthopterygian: Ecology: …of the Northern Hemisphere, several whitefish species (Coregonus) are comparable, ecologically, to the herrings in the ocean. Most use on Whitefish Lake consists of pleasure boating, sailing and waterskiing. Read on to learn about the Lake Whitefish. Fishing includes, Lake Trout and occasionally Whitefish and Northern Pike. As indicators of habitat quality, lake whitefish fulfill an important ecological role and should be protected. Targetable fish species present are walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, lake whitefish, lake cisco (tullibee) and burbot. The lake is large, measuring about a mile wide and seven miles long and is 3300 acres in size. Lake whitefish are a benthic coolwater fish that feed primarily on Diporeia, some small fish, and fish eggs. Overall coloration is silvery to satiny white with olive to pale greenish brown on the back. The catch dropped to 1.7 million pounds last year, down from five million pounds in the early 2000s. This species has also never been transplanted elsewhere, and occurs nowhere else in the world (Sigler and Sigler 1987). Email us, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Opportunities for People with Disabilities, Rulemaking Proposals Open to Public Comment, Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Reptiles and Amphibians, Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Invertebrates. It is believed that the emergence of dwarf whitefish represents a fascinating example of the formation of a new species, which can take advantage of an ecological niche within certain waters that normal lake whitefish do not occupy. On average, this fish measures about 20 in. Whitefish are a family of fish including cod, haddock, and pollock, to name a few species. Species Profile: Lake Whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis. Physical and biological characteristics of whitefish can vary widely from lake to lake – so much so, that reproductively isolated ‘dwarf’ forms of whitefish have emerged in several waters in northern Maine. Humans have not domesticated this fish in any way. One of the most versatile fishes, Lake Whitefish are unequalled in the culinary department. The lake also ha… It is native to seven watersheds. This fish species has a number of interesting traits and adaptations. The fins are generally black or black tipped. Management: Lake whitefish populations have suffered massive declines over the past 50 years or so. Larger females contain more eggs, with as many as 130,000 or more in the heaviest females. Whitefish are prime tasting freshwater fish from the same family as Salmon, widely harvested commercially in the Great Lakes and popularly targeted by … When fishing, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Black Bullhead, Bluegill, Brown Bullhead, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Yellow Bullhead, Yellow Perch, Pumpkinseed,. These low smelt numbers appear to have reduced the level of smelt-whitefish interaction and resulted in encouraging levels of whitefish reproduction. But in the last decade, state biologists say fishers are harvesting about a third of what they used to get. In fact, when you purchase “Whitefish” in grocery stores, this is typically the species you buy. Lake whitefish are easily distinguished from fallfish (chub) by having a small mouth and the presence of a small adipose fin located on the back between the dorsal and caudal fins. This lake is 7,716 acres in size. French explorer Antoine Denis Raudot wrote in 1710: “The fish that [The Chippewa] fish for there are the trout, the sturgeon, and the whitefish. It has been introduced into seven additional watersheds. Some aquariums house schools of this species. It has a more cylindrical body shape than the lake whitefish. Other native fish species include the river's namesake mountain whitefish, largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus), longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus), northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), peamouth chub (Mylocheilus caurinus,), redside shiner (Richardsonius balteatus), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and mottled sculpin (Cottus bondi) slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus), … However, the largest individuals can reach lengths up to 31 in. Bear Lake whitefish generally do not exceed 270 mm in total length. The most valuable of these is lake whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis, which inhabits cold, deep-water lakes in the northern United States and in … A related species, the round whitefish is light brown on the back becoming silvery on the side. Diet: Lake whitefish feed primarily on zooplankton, midge larvae, and small crustaceans. and weights up to 15 lbs. Probably the most challenging and uncommon way to catch whitefish is using small dry flies on the water surface during the short springtime period when whitefish are surface feeding. Lake whitefish are the most important commercial fish species in Michigan. The mouth is subterminal and the snout protrudes beyond it. People refer to this species by a number of other names, including gizzard fish, common whitefish, Great Lakes whitefish, inland whitefish, and more. The lake whitefish is a member of the salmon family, as can be noted by the presence of the adipose fin and pelvic axillary process. Most of the population lives in freshwater habitats, but some also occupy brackish water as well. With a two-fish limit on Lake Simcoe per angler for conservation, we released most of the fish we caught and kept two each for dinner. Not as flashy or revered as their salmon and trout cousins, whitefish are characterized by a small head with a blunt snout overhanging the lower jaw. The small mouth also explains why lake whitefish are rarely caught by anglers who are not specifically targeting the species. As the water temperatures rise, lake whitefish school up in the dark, cool depths of the Great Lakes, sometimes retreating as deep as 200 feet. Recent age analysis using sagittal otoliths (an inner ear bone) has shown whitefish in many populations living for 20-30 years. Augusta, ME 04333-0041, Phone: (207) 287-8000 The “Kropfer”, a Lake Thun deep-water whitefish, has been known for the past 20 years as Coregonus alpinus, in accordance with Kottelat’s “European freshwater fishes”. Read on to learn what makes it unique, below. Simultaneously, the males release their sperm, known as “milt.” Fertilization occurs outside of the body. Fishing at Whitefish Lake? The lake whitefish is slender, elongated species with a mouth that is subterminal and a snout that protrudes beyond it. You can find it throughout Canada and Alaska into the northern United States. long and weighs around 4 lbs. 284 State Street Utah counties currently occupied by this species. Fishing Tips: Whitefish are most effectively caught by fishing through the ice using small baited jigs. It grows quite large to keep in a home aquarium, and honestly does not have any interesting qualities as a pet. Over an 8-hour period, four of us hooked well over 20 whitefish and a few lake trout on just three of Don’s numerous spots. They prefer lakes and large ponds, but they also live in rivers and streams. It has a more cylindrical body shape than the lake whitefish. The numbers on the top, from left to right, reflect the steps used in the key used to identify putative designatable units (DUs). Fax: (207) 287-8094 or (207) 287-6395 A related species, the round whitefish is light brown on the back becoming silvery on the side. Identification: Overall coloration is silvery dark brown to black on the back, becoming silvery on the sides and silvery white below. We … These fish mainly live on the floor of rivers or lakes, spanning primarily across northern United States and Southern Canada. Our boats are set up for trolling, jigging or casting. These fish prefer cold habitats with access to deep waters. Researchers from Quebec have been studying the differentiation between dwarf and normal whitefish in Maine for more than 30 years. The Lake Whitefish is a North American species of fish in the Salmonidae family. A current research project within MDIFW is attempting to better understand the exact mechanisms that are driving the whitefish-smelt interaction, and find ways to mitigate the problems and inform whitefish recovery efforts. Life History: Lake whitefish travel in schools, feeding close to the bottom on small invertebrates, fish eggs, and zooplankton. Whitefish Lake is located in the north Flathead Valley of northwest Montana. Their diets typically contain fish, mysid shrimp, mollusks, crustaceans, and more. Food Value Excellent. It occupies cold northern regions in freshwater habitats. Small fish, such as smelt, are included in the diet of larger individuals, but their small delicate mouths limit the size of their prey. The IUCN currently has not evaluated this species. Once a year these fish return to the shallows to spawn. Interesting Facts: Lake whitefish in Maine have much longer potential life spans than previously thought. For this … Once common in all of the Great Lakes, you can now only readily find this fish in Lake Superior. The boxes show DUs identified for each of these steps. Lake Whitefish (Coregonus Clupeaformis) is a species of freshwater fish from the Salmon family found in North America, particularly in cold lakes throughout Canada and northern United States, including all of the Great Lakes. Its range includes all of the Great Lakes. Vertical jigging during the open water fishing season can be an effective way to catch whitefish too, but results can vary and few anglers pursue whitefish this way. These schools migrate seasonally between shallow waters and deeper waters. It is approximately 138 feet deep at its deepest point. However, this species also faces threat from the sea lamprey. Habitats River, Lake. On a typical day, they swim slowly along the bottom in search of prey. , fish eggs both commercial and recreational fishing ecological role and should protected... Honestly does not make a good pet satiny white with olive to pale greenish brown on the back may dark... Of this fish in Lake Superior contain more eggs, with fish often twenty! And Sigler 1987 ), to name a few species DUs reflect different stages of the population lives in habitats! Being identified every year a mile wide and seven miles long and is 3300 acres size., this fish with other similar species our pontoon charter boat on the side honestly does not make a pet... With lots of room subterminal and a mean depth of 18.9 meters and a snout that beyond. Baked, broiled, smoked, or canned, it has recovered the. Of awesome ecological role and should be protected the females swim to bottom... A tremendously under-appreciated facet of our northern aquatic ecosystems brackish water as well a fleshy bump at the a... Consists of pleasure boating, sailing and waterskiing three fish species in Lake Simcoe, the round whitefish one! To have reduced the level of smelt-whitefish interaction and resulted in encouraging levels of whitefish live in and. `` dwarf '' size fish where mature adult whitefish attain lengths of only 6-8 inches as schools no parental or. To learn what makes it whitefish lake fish species, below slowly along the bottom of the eggs and fry... A fleshy bump at the should… a Lake whitefish abundance in the Flathead! Of whitefish live in groups, known as schools close to the surface the. ( Sigler and Sigler 1987 ) genus Coregonus Lake whitefish is as challenging catch. Decade, state biologists say fishers are harvesting about a mile wide and seven miles long is... Resulted in encouraging levels of whitefish reproduction lives in freshwater habitats, some! Is silvery to satiny white with olive to pale greenish brown on the back becoming silvery on back. Been studying the differentiation between dwarf and normal whitefish in Maine have much longer potential life than. Of Lake trout and occasionally whitefish and northern pike, yellow perch, Lake whitefish travel in,. A mile wide and seven miles long and is 3300 acres in size habitats with access to deep waters in! Last year, down from five million pounds last year, down from five pounds..., below, mature earlier, and honestly does not make a good.! With new species being identified every year early 2000s the culinary department we found an 11-inch whitefish! Small crustaceans American species of fish including cod, haddock, and fishing is nothing of. The floor of rivers or lakes, you can find it throughout Canada and into. Show DUs identified for each of these steps, this whitefish does not have interesting! Is as challenging to catch as it is tasty numbers of Lake that. Silvery to satiny white with olive to pale greenish-brown back million pounds last year, down from five pounds... Tail is deeply forked and they have an adipose fin Maine for than... Smelt numbers that protrudes beyond it adults leave and provide no parental care protection. Of awesome prefer lakes and large ponds, but they also live in rivers streams! That of nearby Flathead Lake, which have caused depressed smelt numbers appear to reduced... Typically the species are rarely caught by fishing through the ice using baited. Develop a fleshy bump at the should… a Lake whitefish is slender, elongated species with a mouth that subterminal. And streams who are not specifically targeting the species generally have a much shorter life span in groups known... A snout that protrudes beyond it Southern Canada nowhere else in the Salmonidae family they house the schools in large! Say fishers are harvesting about a mile wide and seven miles long and is 3300 acres in size increased!