Coregonus clupeaformis
Coregonus clupeaformis
(Lake Whitefish)
Native Transplant
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Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill, 1818)

Common name: Lake Whitefish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Trautman (1981); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 80 cm.

Native Range: Throughout Canada south into New England, the Great Lakes basin, and central Minnesota; Copper and Susitna River drainages, Alaska (Page and Burr 2011).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species has been introduced into many lakes in California (Smith 1896; Shebley 1917; Hubbs et al. 1979; Dill and Cordone 1997); Colorado (Wiltzius 1985; D. Horak, pers. comm.); Idaho (Smith 1896; Chapman 1942; Linder 1963; Simpson and Wallace 1978; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Idaho Fish and Game 1996); Indiana (Sweeney 1902); Iowa (museum specimen); Maine (Kendall 1914); Massachusetts (Hartel, 1992; Cardoza et al. 1993), Minnesota (Eddy and Underhill 1974); Montana (Brown 1971; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990; Tilmant 1999); Nebraska (Morris et al. 1974); Nevada (Smith 1896; Miller and Alcorn 1946; Deacon and Williams 1984); New Hampshire (Scarola 1973); New York (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Smith 1985); North Dakota (Cross et al. 1986; North Dakota Game and Fish Department 1994); Oregon (Smith 1896; Chapman 1942); Pennsylvania (Ford et al. 1892); South Dakota (Todd 1983; Cross et al. 1986; North Dakota Game and Fish Department 1994; Hanten, personal communication); Utah (Sigler and Miller 1963; Sigler and Sigler 1996); and Washington (Smith 1896; Chapman 1942; Wydoski and Whitney 1979; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.).

Means of Introduction: The U.S. Fish Commission was active in stocking Lake Whitefish during the late 1800s and early 1900s (e.g., Smith 1896; Chapman 1942).

Status: Most early attempts to establish populations failed, for instance, all attempts in California, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. However, populations became established locally in a few lakes in several states. Established in the Columbia River basin, Washington (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 2011); also established in the Missouri and Milk rivers, and Fort Peck and Flathead lakes, Montana (Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks 2012).

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: According to Miller and Alcorn (1946), in 1880 25,000 eggs of this species were sent to Eureka, Nevada, but no records of plantings could be found.

Voucher specimens: California (USNM 27198), Iowa (USNM 63643).

References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press, Madison, WI.

Brown, C.J.D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Big Sky Books, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

Cardoza, J.E., G.S. Jones, T.W. French, and D.B. Halliwell. 1993. Exotic and translocated vertebrates of Massachusetts. 2nd edition. Fauna of Massachusetts Series No. 6. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.

Chapman, W.M. 1942. Alien fishes in the waters of the Pacific northwest. California Fish and Game 28:9-15.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Deacon, J.E., and J.E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97:103-118.

Dill, W.A., and A.J. Cordone. 1997. History and status of introduced fishes in California, 1871-1996. California Department of Fish and Game Fish Bulletin, volume 178.

Eddy, S., and J.C. Underhill. 1974. Northern fishes, with special reference to the Upper Mississippi Valley. 3rd edition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Ford, H.C., H.C. Demuth, G.H. Welshons, S.B. Stillwel, L. Streuber, and W.L. Powell. 1892. Report of the Fish Commissioners for the years 1889-90-91. Pennsylvania Report of State Commissioners of Fisheries19:1-156.

Hartel, K. 1992. Non-native fishes known from Massachusetts freshwaters. Occassional Reports of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Fish Department 1992:1-9.

Holton, G.D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Helena, MT.

Hubbs, C.L., W.I. Follett, and L.J. Dempster. 1979. List of the fishes of California. Occassional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 133:1-51

Idaho Fish and Game. 1996. Fisheries Management Plan 1996-2000. Idaho Fish and Game, Boise, ID.

Kendall, W.C. 1914. An annotated catalogue of the fishes of Maine. Proceedings of the Portland Society of Natural History 3:1-198.

Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D.E. McAllister, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Linder, A.D. 1963. Idaho's alien fishes. Tebiwa 6:12-15.

Miller, R.R., and J.R. Alcorn. 1946. The introduced fishes of Nevada, with a history of their introduction. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 73:173-193.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. 2012. Montana Fisheries Information System. accessed 6 March 2012.

Morris, J., L. Morris, and L. Witt. 1974. The fishes of Nebraska. Nebraska Game and Parks commission, Lincoln, NE.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department. 1994. Fishes of the Dakotas. North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Bismark, ND.

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Guide Series, vol. 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 2011. Field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA.

Scarola, J.F. 1973. Freshwater fishes of New Hampshire. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Division of Inland and Marine Fisheries.

Scott, W.B., and E.J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. Ottawa.

Shebley, W.H. 1917. History of the introduction of food and game fishes into the waters of California. California Fish and Game 3:3-10.

Sigler, W.F., and R.R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah: a natural history. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.

Simpson, J., and R. Wallace. 1978. Fishes of Idaho. University of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID.

Smith, C.L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York state. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

Smith, H.M. 1896. A review of the history and results of the attempts to acclimitazie fish and other water animals in the Pacific states. Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission 15:379-472,

Sweeney, Z.T. 1902. Biennial report of the commissioner of fisheries and game for Indiana. Indianapolis, IN.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

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.

Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2011. Washington fishing prospects: where to catch fish in the evergreen state. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA.

Wiltzius, W.J. 1985. Fish culture and stocking in Colorado, 1872-1978. Division Report 12, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Fort Collins, CO.

Wydoski, R.S., and R.R. Whitney. 1979. Inland fishes of Washington. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 3/26/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill, 1818): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 3/26/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/24/2018

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.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/24/2018].

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