Round Whitefish
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Top view of snout: There is a single flap on the nostril.
  • Close-up gill rakers: There are 15-20 (usually 16-18) short gill rakers.
  • There are 87-117 pyloric caecae.
  • Close-up caudal region: The species has an adipose fin, 40-47 (usually 42-46) circumferential scales, and 22-24 caudal peduncle scales.
  • Close-up mouth/snout: The mouth is subterminal and lacks jaw teeth.
  • Close-up flank: The flanks show 80-100 (usually 83-96) lateral line scales and a lack of pigment (but see blotches on juveniles).
  • Side view of a juvenile: The sides show faint pigment blotches along the posterior flank.
  • Side view of a juvenile: The sides show faint pigment blotches along the posterior flank and smaller blotches dorsally.
  • Side view of a juvenile: The sides show faint pigment blotches along the posterior flank and smaller blotches dorsally.
  • Close-up head of a juvenile: The snout is short, blunt, and rounded.
  • Comparison pygmy whitefish (top 2) and round whitefish (bottom 2): Notice body and snout shape differences; pygmy whitefish are adults, round whitefish are juveniles.
  • Comparison lake whitefish (top) and round whitefish (bottom): Notice the differences in body and snout shapes.
  • Comparison round whitefish (top), pygmy whitefish (middle), lake whitefish (bottom 2): Notice the differences in snout and body shape; round and lake whitefish are juveniles, the pygmy whitefish is an adult.
  • Comparison round whitefish (top), pygmy whitefish (middle), lake whitefish (bottom): Notice snout shape differences; round and lake whitefish are juveniles, the pygmy whitefish is an adult.
  • Comparison pygmy whitefish (top) and round whitefish (bottom): Notice the snout shape differences; pygmy whitefish is an adult, round whitefish is a juvenile.
  • Alternate side view of two adults. Notice the variation in shape between the two specimens.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Trouts (Salmonidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: subterminal, slightly oblique, no teeth on the jaws, but a few small teeth on tongue. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid color as adult, but juveniles (below 200 mm TL) usually have 2 or more rows of 10 or more diffuse, dark, round spots (“parr marks”) along lateral line and along the midline on back. Spots about the size of the pupil. Body color generally silvery, but grading from brown, tan, or bronze (sometimes tinged with green) on the back to cream on the belly. 80-100 cycloid lateral line scales, usually 83-96. 40-47 circumferential scale rows in front of dorsal fin (usually 42-46) and 22-24 scale rows around the caudal peduncle. Fins without spots or other markings; pectoral, pelvic, and often anal fins of adults often orangish, particularly at the base. Body shape and size: Body fusiform to cylindrical (but rigid, not eel like); round in cross section. Typically 350-450 mm (14-18 in) TL; maximum about 550 mm (22 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal no spines and 13-15 principal rays, usually 14-15. Pelvic fins abdominal with axillary process. Adipose fin present. Anal fin with 9-11 principal rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
See similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males with numerous small tubercles, females with fewer.
Juveniles
Up to about 200 mm TL usually have 2 or more rows of 10 or more diffuse, dark, round spots (“parr marks”) along lateral line and along the midline on back. Spots about the size of the pupil.
Hybrids
Round whitefish X pygmy whitefish reported from Great Lakes; not confirmed from Wisconsin (no photos).
Compare Similar Species
Flank Pigmentation
BloaterNo spots, solid silver
CiscoNo spots, solid silver
Cisco, BlackfinNo spots, solid silver
Cisco, DeepwaterNo spots, solid silver
Cisco, ShortjawNo spots, solid silver
Cisco, ShortnoseNo spots, solid silver
GoldeyeNo spots, solid silver
KiyiNo spots, solid silver
MooneyeNo spots, solid silver
Smelt, RainbowNo spots, solid silver
Trout-perchLateral rows of diffuse round spots, about size of pupil
Whitefish, LakeNo spots, solid silver
Whitefish, PygmyLateral rows of diffuse round spots, about size of pupil; faint above 100 mm TL
Whitefish, RoundLateral rows of diffuse round spots, about size of pupil, disappear above 200 mm TL and then solid silver
Scales
BloaterCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
CiscoCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
Cisco, BlackfinCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
Cisco, DeepwaterCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
Cisco, ShortjawCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
Cisco, ShortnoseCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
GoldeyeCycloid, 52-62 lateral line
KiyiCycloid, 66-96 lateral line, 38-46 circumferential
MooneyeCycloid, 52-62 lateral line
Smelt, RainbowCycloid, 62-72 lateral line
Trout-perchCtenoid, 47-52 lateral line
Whitefish, LakeCycloid, 74-93 lateral line (usually 81-88), 46-52 circumferential (usually 48-50), 22-23 caudal peduncle
Whitefish, PygmyCycloid, 55-70 lateral line (usually 56-66), 31-40 circumferential (usually 33-37), 16-20 caudal peduncle
Whitefish, RoundCycloid, 80-100 lateral line (usually 83-96), 40-47 circumferential (usually 42-46), 22-24 caudal peduncle
Gill Rakers
Bloater26-35, long
Cisco26-35, long
Cisco, Blackfin26-35, long
Cisco, Deepwater26-35, long
Cisco, Shortjaw26-35, long
Cisco, Shortnose26-35, long
Goldeye15-17, short
Kiyi26-35, long
Mooneye15-17, short
Smelt, Rainbow26-35, long
Trout-perch8-13, short
Whitefish, Lake19-33, short (usually 26-28)
Whitefish, Pygmy16-20, short
Whitefish, Round15-20, short (usually 16-18)
Adipose Fin
BloaterPresent
CiscoPresent
Cisco, BlackfinPresent
Cisco, DeepwaterPresent
Cisco, ShortjawPresent
Cisco, ShortnosePresent
GoldeyeAbsent
KiyiPresent
MooneyeAbsent
Smelt, RainbowPresent
Trout-perchPresent
Whitefish, LakePresent
Whitefish, PygmyPresent
Whitefish, RoundPresent
Mouth and Teeth
BloaterTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
CiscoTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
Cisco, BlackfinTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
Cisco, DeepwaterTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
Cisco, ShortjawTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
Cisco, ShortnoseTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
GoldeyeTerminal mouth; small but obvious jaw teeth
KiyiTerminal mouth, jaw teeth few and minute
MooneyeTerminal mouth; small but obvious jaw teeth
Smelt, RainbowTerminal mouth; small but obvious jaw teeth
Trout-perchSubterminal mouth; minute jaw teeth
Whitefish, LakeSubterminal mouht; jaw teeth few and minute
Whitefish, PygmySubterminal mouth; jaw teeth absent, but a few teeth on tongue
Whitefish, RoundSubterminal mouth; jaw teeth absent, but a few teeth on tongue
Other Features
BloaterOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
CiscoOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
Cisco, BlackfinOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
Cisco, DeepwaterOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
Cisco, ShortjawOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
Cisco, ShortnoseOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
GoldeyeOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process present
KiyiOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin, pelvic fin axillary process present, nostril with two flaps
MooneyeOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process present
Smelt, RainbowOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process absent
Trout-perchOrigin of pelvic fin below middle of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process absent
Whitefish, LakeOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process present; nostril with two flaps; 140-222 pyloric caeca; back arched, body oval in cross-section
Whitefish, PygmyOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process present; nostril with one flap; 15-23 pyloric caeca; back rounded, body round in cross-section
Whitefish, RoundOrigin of pelvic fin well behind end of pectoral fin; pelvic fin axillary process present; nostril with one flap; 87-117 pyloric caeca; back rounded, body round in cross-section
Similarity Index
BloaterModerately similar
CiscoModerately similar
Cisco, BlackfinModerately similar
Cisco, DeepwaterModerately similar
Cisco, ShortjawModerately similar
Cisco, ShortnoseModerately similar
GoldeyeModerately similar
KiyiModerately similar
MooneyeModerately similar
Smelt, RainbowModerately similar
Trout-perchModerately similar
Whitefish, LakeVery similar
Whitefish, PygmyVery similar
Whitefish, RoundModerately similar
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