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- Length: 17 to 22 inches
- Weight: 1.5 to 4 pounds
- Coloring: silvery with pale
greenish-brown back, fins clear or lightly pigmented
- Common Names: whitefish, Sault
whitefish, gizzard fish, grande coregone, (French), Attikumaig (Chippewa)
- Found in Lakes: Michigan, Huron,
Ontario, Erie and Superior
- Patricians of the Great Lakes, lake
whitefish were long prized for the delectable quality of their meat. In 1836, a scientist
in the field wrote, "We can say from personal experience that a diet of whitefish
along, with no other food, can be eaten for days without losing its appeal."
In those halcyon days, these
full-bodied fish often reached 20 pounds. Most lived about 10 years, though a few lunkers
lasted almost 30 years.
Lake whitefish usually feed along the bottom
and are generally safe from the sportsman's fishing tackle. But since 1970, commerical
fishing nets have annually harvested more than two million pounds from Green Bay and
northwestern Lake Michigan.
Whitefish school in cold, deep waters and are
still plentiful in Lake Superior and the northern parts of Lakes Michigan and Huron.
However, they have disappeared from some areas where they were once abundant.
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copyright University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
Brook Trout illustration copyright 1998 Gina
Lake whitefish photograph (c) Shedd
Drawing from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Last updated 05 February 2002 by Seaman