Cisco
  • 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; part of the opercle is missing.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up of underside of head: Notice the light chin pigment.
  • There are 41-55 (usually 46-55) long gill rakers.
  • Close-up pelvic fin: Notice the short to medium pelvic fin length without pigment.
  • Close-up caudal region: Notice the presence of an adipose fin.
  • Close-up of mouth/snout: Notice the terminal mouth and the eye diameter, the upper and lower jaws are about equal, the snout is pointed, pigment is moderate.
  • The body is relatively elongated, the deepest part is near the dorsal origin, the belly is gently rounded.
  • Head-on view: The body is relatively round (as opposed to elongated oval) in cross section.
  • Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Alternate view of an adult.
  • Side view of a cisco/lake herring X bloater hybrid (?): Notice the intermediate body shape.
  • Side view of two cisco/lake herring X bloater hybrids (?): Notice the intermediate body shapes.
  • Gill rakers of a cisco/lake herring X bloater hybrid (?): Notice the intermediate raker number and length.
  • Close-up mouth/snout of a cisco/lake herring X bloater hybrid (?): Notice the intermediate jaw length.
  • Close-up mouth/snout of a cisco/lake herring X kiyi hybrid (?): Notice that the lower jaw length is equal or less than the upper jaw length.
  • Close-up pelvic fins of a cisco/lake herring X kiyi hybrid (?): Notice the medium to long pelvic fin length.
  • Close-up pelvic fins of a cisco/lake herring X bloater hybrid (?): Notice the medium length of the fins.
  • Side view of a cisco/lake herring X kiyi hybrid (?): Notice the intermediate body shape.
  • Side view of a cisco/lake herring X kiyi hybrid (?): Notice the intermediate body shape.
  • Close-up mouth/snout of a cisco/lake herring X kiyi hybrid (?): Alternative view of the mouth.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Trouts (Salmonidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Terminal, oblique, a few minute teeth on jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid color. Body color generally silvery, grading from brown, bronze or pale green on the back to silvery blue on the flanks to cream on the belly. 68-94 cycloid lateral line scales, usually 77-84. Fins without spots. Body shape and size: Body fusiform and somewhat elongate; oval to round in cross section. Typically 300-450 mm (12-18 in) TL; maximum about 525 mm (21 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Forked tail. Single dorsal no spines and 8-11 principal rays. Pelvic fins abdominal with axillary process. Adipose fin present. Anal fin with 10-13 principal rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The cisco/lake herring can be distinguished by its terminal mouth, its presence of an adipose fin and its presence of an axillary process of the pelvic fin. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males with numerous small tubercles on body, females with fewer.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
Cisco/lake herring X bloater (photos); cisco/lake herring X kiyi (photos); lake whitefish X cisco/lake herring reported from Great Lakes; not confirmed from Wisconsin (no photos).
Compare Similar Species
Snout Shape and Pigment
BloaterUsually pointed, rarely blunt; light or moderate pigment
CiscoUsually pointed, rarely blunt; moderate pigment
Cisco, BlackfinUsually pointed, rarely blunt; dark pigment
Cisco, DeepwaterUsually pointed, sometimes blunt; moderate pigment
Cisco, ShortjawUsually blunt (angled), rarely pointed; moderate pigment
Cisco, ShortnoseUsually pointed, rarely blunt; moderate or dark pigment
KiyiUsually pointed, sometimes blunt; dark pigment
Chin Pigment
BloaterLight or moderate
CiscoLight or moderate
Cisco, BlackfinModerate
Cisco, DeepwaterLight
Cisco, ShortjawLight
Cisco, ShortnoseModerate
KiyiLight or moderate
Length of Upper Jaw Relative to Lower Jaw
BloaterUsually less, rarely equal
CiscoUsually equal, sometimes less, rarely more
Cisco, BlackfinUsually equal
Cisco, DeepwaterUsually equal
Cisco, ShortjawUsually more, rarely equal
Cisco, ShortnoseUsually equal, sometimes less
KiyiUsually less, rarely equal
Pelvic Fin Length and Pigment
BloaterMedium; no or light pigment
CiscoShort to medium; no or light pigment
Cisco, BlackfinUsually medium, rarely long; dark pigment
Cisco, DeepwaterMedium; no or light pigment
Cisco, ShortjawShort to medium; no or light pigment
Cisco, ShortnoseShort; no or light pigment
KiyiLong; no or light pigment
Eye Diameter
BloaterModerate
CiscoModerate
Cisco, BlackfinModerate
Cisco, DeepwaterModerate
Cisco, ShortjawModerate
Cisco, ShortnoseModerate to large
KiyiLarge
Gill Raker Number and Length
Bloater37-48, usually 41-44; usually medium, rarely short or long
Cisco41-55, usually 46-55; usually long, rarely medium
Cisco, Blackfin41-52, usually 46-50; long
Cisco, Deepwater26-36, usually 27-32; short
Cisco, Shortjaw35-44, usually 38-42; usually short, rarely medium
Cisco, Shortnose30-43, usually 34-38; short
Kiyi34-45, usually 36-41; usually medium, rarely long
Body Depth and Shape
BloaterDeep bodied, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body anterior to dorsal fin, sharply rounded belly
CiscoRelatively elongated, some fsh almost round in cross-section, deepest part of body usually near origin of dorsal fin, gently rounded belly
Cisco, BlackfinDeep bodied, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body anterior to dorsal fin, sharply rounded belly
Cisco, DeepwaterModerately deep bodied, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body just anterior to dorsal fin, moderately rounded belly
Cisco, ShortjawModerately deep bodied, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body just anterior to dorsal fin, moderately rounded belly
Cisco, ShortnoseModerately deep bodied, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body just anterior to dorsal fin, moderately rounded belly
KiyiRelatively elongated, oval in cross-section, deepest part of body usually near origin of dorsal fin, gently rounded belly
Similarity Index
BloaterVery similar
CiscoN/A
Cisco, BlackfinVery similar
Cisco, DeepwaterVery similar
Cisco, ShortjawVery similar
Cisco, ShortnoseVery similar
KiyiVery similar
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