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.

Prosopium gemmifer
Prosopium gemmifer
(Bonneville Cisco)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Prosopium gemmifer (Snyder, 1919)

Common name: Bonneville Cisco

Synonyms and Other Names: P. gemmiferum

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Bonneville Cisco can be distinguished from all other species of Prosopium by the presence of a long, sharply pointed snout(Sigler and Sigler 1987; Page and Burr 1991)

Size: 22 cm TL (Page and Burr 1991).

Native Range: Endemic to Bear Lake in southeastern Idaho and northern Utah (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
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 Prosopium gemmifer are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA196419871Lake Tahoe
CO197119871Arkansas Headwaters
NV196419871Lake Tahoe
SD198719942Cheyenne; Missouri Region
UT198719961Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir
WY198719961Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Table last updated 5/27/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Inhabits large lakes (endemic to Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho) and generally prefers cooler waters (below ~58° F). Bonneville Cisco is primarily zooplanktivorous, consuming mainly copepods and cladocerans, but will also consume benthic insect larvae on occasion. Spawn in shallow inshore waters during January when water temperature ranges 33-42° F (Sigler and Sigler 1987).

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked. A total of 15,888 cisco were released over a three-year period in Lake Tahoe (Frantz and Cordone 1967). The species was stocked to provide forage for lake trout Salvelinus namaycush and other trout species (Frantz and Cordone 1965). It was stocked by the state of Colorado in 1971.

Status: Extirpated in South Dakota and presumably extirpated in Lake Tahoe because no mention was made of a population by La Rivers (1962), Lee et al. (1980 et seq.), or Page and Burr (1991). Dill and Cordone (1997) and Moyle (2002) listed the introduction as a failure in California. The Colorado introduction also failed to produce an established population. Sigler and Sigler (1987) reported that no survival has been documented from any of the stockings.

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.

References: (click for full references)

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.

Frantz, T.C., and A.J. Cordone. 1965. Introductions of the Bonneville cisco (Prosopium gemmiferum Snyder) into Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada. California Fish and Game 51(4):270-275.

Frantz, T.C., and A.J. Cordone. 1967. Final introductions of the Bonneville cisco (Prosopium gemmiferum Snyder) into Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada. California Fish and Game 53(3):209-210.

La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Print Office, Carson City, NV.

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.

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

North Dakota Fish and Game. 1994. Fishes of the Dakotas. Brochure. 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.

Shapovalov, L., A.J. Cordone, and W.A. Dill. 1981. A list of freshwater and anadromous fishes of California. California Fish and Game. 67(1): 4-38.

Sigler, W.F., and G.W. Workman. 1978. The Bonneville cisco of Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho. Research Report 33, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, Logan, UT.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: a natural history. University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV.

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

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

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 4/6/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/6/2012

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Prosopium gemmifer (Snyder, 1919): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=922, Revision Date: 4/6/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/6/2012, Access Date: 5/27/2024

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 [5/27/2024].

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