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Encyclopedia > Whitefish (genus)

Lake whitefish (C. clupeaformis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Subfamily: Coregoninae
Genus: Coregonus
(see text)
For other uses of the term "Whitefish", see Whitefish.

Coregonus Linnaeus, 1758, is a genus of fish in the salmon family (family Salmonidae). The type species is the common whitefish (C. lavaretus). The Coregonus species are known generically as the whitefishes.

The Arctic cisco (C. autumnalis), the Bering cisco (C. laurettae), and the sardine cisco (C. sardinella) are anadromous, moving between salt water and fresh water.

The blackfin cisco (C. nigripinnis), the deepwater cisco (C. johannae), and the longjaw cisco (C. alpenae) became extinct in the last half of the twentieth century. The shortnose cisco (C. reighardi) may also be extinct and is so considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, although IUCN classifies it as Critically Endangered. IUCN considers several other species of whitefish to be Vulnerable. All Coregonus species are protected under appendix III of the Bern Convention.

A Tench-class submarine of the United States Navy, cancelled during the Second World War, was to have been called USS Whitefish.


There is much uncertainty and confusion in the classification of the many species of this genus. The following are the species as listed by FishBase:

  • C. albellus
  • C. albula – vendace
  • (C. alpenae) – longjaw cisco (extinct)
  • C. alpinus
  • C. arenicolus
  • C. artedi – cisco or lake herring
  • C. atterensis
  • C. autumnalis autumnalis – Arctic cisco
  • C. autumnalis migratorius
  • C. bavaricus
  • C. bezola
  • C. candidus
  • C. chadary – Khadary whitefish
  • C. clupeaformis – lake whitefish
  • C. clupeoides – powan
  • C. confusus
  • C. danneri
  • C. fatioi
  • C. fera – lavarello
  • C. gutturosus
  • C. heglingus
  • C. hiemalis
  • C. hoferi
  • C. hoyi – bloater
  • C. huntsmani – Atlantic whitefish
  • (C. johannae) – deepwater cisco (extinct)
  • C. kiyi – kiyi
  • C. laurettae – Bering cisco
  • C. lavaretus baicalensis – European whitefish
  • C. lavaretus lavaretus – common whitefish
  • C. lucidus
  • C. lucinensis
  • C. macrophthalmus
  • C. maraena
  • C. maxillaris
  • C. megalops – Lacustrine fluvial whitefish
  • C. muksun – muksun
  • C. nasus – broad whitefish
  • C. nelsoni – Alaska whitefish
  • (C. nigripinnis) – blackfin cisco (extinct)
  • C. nilssoni
  • C. nobilis
  • C. oxyrhynchus – houting
  • C. palaea
  • C. pallasii
  • C. peled – peled
  • C. pennantii – gwyniad
  • C. pidschian – humpback whitefish
  • C. pollan – Irish pollan
  • C. reighardi – shortnose cisco (extinct?)
  • C. renke
  • C. restrictus
  • C. sardinella – sardine cisco
  • C. stigmaticus – schelly
  • C. subautumnalis
  • C. suidteri
  • C. trybomi
  • C. tugun lenensis – Lena tugun
  • C. tugun tugun – tugun
  • C. ussuriensis – Amur whitefish
  • C. vandesius
  • C. wartmanni
  • C. widegreni – Valaam whitefish
  • C. zenithicus – shortjaw cisco
  • C. zuerichensis
  • C. zugensis


  • "Coregonus" (http://www.fishbase.org/Eschmeyer/GeneraSummary.cfm?ID=Coregonus). FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. October 2004 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2004.
  • "Coregonus" (TSN 161932) (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=161932). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. N.p.: Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2004. Accessed on 12 December 2004.
  • Division of Endangered Species. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Extinct Species List" (http://midwest.fws.gov/endangered/lists/extinct.html). Fort Snelling, Minn.: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, n.d. Accessed 12 December 2004.

External links

  • "Coregonidae (Whitefishes)" (http://home.planet.nl/~zoete004/coregon.htm). The Fish Jukebox. Accessed on 17 December 2004.

  Results from FactBites:
Whitefish - LoveToKnow 1911 (236 words)
WHITEFISH, a collective name applied in different countries to very different kinds of freshwater fishes.
The numerous European species of the Cyprinoid genus Leuciscus are frequently comprised under the name of "Whitefish," but the term is employed here for the various species of the Salmonoid genus Coregonus.
The highly esteemed "lavaret" of Savoy, the "felchen," "kilch," "gangfisch," "palee," "gravenche," "fera" or Switzerland and southern Germany, the "sik" of Sweden, belong to this genus, which is represented in British and Irish waters by the houting (C.
Whitefish Species: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game (859 words)
Whitefish are important in the food chain of the aquatic community, as they are a major food item for many predatory fish.
Whitefish in general are silver-colored with large scales, fleshy dorsal and adipose fins, no teeth, and a small fleshy appendage at the base of the pelvic fin called a pelvic axillary process.
In Alaska the broad whitefish is found in the Yukon and Kuskokwim river drainages and in the Bering and Chukchi seas and Arctic Ocean drainages.
  More results at FactBites »



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