Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill, 1818)
member of the Salmon Family (Salmonidae)
St. Croix River, St. Croix County, Wisconsin October 1967
photo by Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
In a Name?
Do They Live?
Lake whitefish occur in Lake Superior and in many deep, cool water lakes east of the prairie in northern Minnesota. They are present in many lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (for example, Burntside, Vermillion, and Snow Bank) and in lakes of the Upper Mississippi River drainage (for example Ball Club, Cass, Leech, and Ten Mile). Like the cisco, they require cool, well-oxygenated water in the summertime. That usually means the lake cannot be eutrophic (it can't have a lot of nutrients). So, lake whitefish usually do best in deep, clear water lakes.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
The lake whitefish is a bottom dweller. So, it eats things that it finds at or near the bottom of the lake. Young whitefish eat waterfleas at first and then begin to include small bottom-dwelling insect larvae. Adult whitefish eat a lot of sideswimmers, fingernail clams, snails, opossum shrimp, midge larvae, and small fish.
Do They Reproduce?
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Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 16 January 2002