The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Coregonus maraena
Coregonus maraena
(Maraena whitefish)

Copyright Info
Coregonus maraena (Bloch, 1779)

Common name: Maraena whitefish

Synonyms and Other Names: Maraene, madue maraene

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Injurious: This species is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as injurious wildlife.

Identification: Description and identification of C. maraena from other Coregonus in the Baltic Sea region provided by Kottelat and Freyhof (2007).

Size: to 600 mm SL

Native Range: Baltic Sea, from Denmark to Russia; landlocked populations in Poland, Sweden, Russia (Kottelat and Freyhof 2007)

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Coregonus maraena are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†

Table last updated 6/23/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Coregonus maraena, along with other species of Coregonus, was intentionally stocked as a food fish by the U.S. Fish Commission (Todd 1983). According to Baird (1879), 1,000 eggs of C. maraena were shipped from Poland to Michigan in 1877 and hatched in captivity at the State Hatching House in Detroit. A total of 409 of the young fish were stocked in Gardner Lake (Baird 1879; Todd 1983). Baird (1879) considered the stocking an experimental introduction of a European food fish.

Status: Failed introduction.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: There is much confusion regarding the identity of whitefish imported from Germany in the late 1800s by the U.S. Fish Commission, primarily due to the uncertain taxonomy and systematics of Coregonus (Kottelat and Freyhof 2007). Berg (1948) regarded C. maraena as a junior synonym and a subspecies of C. lavaretus. Ladiges and Vogt (1986) placed C. maraena in the C. lavaretus group and provided illustrations of C. maraena and other group members. Kottelat and Freyhof (2007) recognized 59 species of Coregonus, restricting C. lavaretus to Lake Bourget, France (origin of the common vernacular name 'lavaret').

References: (click for full references)

Baird, S.F. 1879. Report of the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries for 1877. Part V. U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, Washington, DC.

Berg, L. S. 1948-1949. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries, 4th edition. Three volumes. Translated from Russian, 1962-1965, for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, by Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, Israel. Volume 1:504 pp.; volume 2:496 pp.; volume 3:510 pp.

Kottelat, M., and J. Freyhof. 2007. Handbook of European freshwater fishes. Publications Kottelat, Cornol, Switzerland.

Ladiges, W., and D. Vogt. 1986. Guida dei pesci d'acqua dolce d'Europa. Franco Muzzio & Co Editore, Padova, Italy.

Todd, T.N. 1983. The feasibility of mass-culturing coregonines in the Great Lakes. Research completion report, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ann Arbor, MI.

Author: Neilson, M.E.

Revision Date: 5/7/2019

Peer Review Date: 2/29/2012

Citation Information:
Neilson, M.E., 2024, Coregonus maraena (Bloch, 1779): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2399, Revision Date: 5/7/2019, Peer Review Date: 2/29/2012, Access Date: 6/23/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/23/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.