Fisheries and Land Resources

Round Whitefish

Prosopium cylindraceum

Status

Range widely throughout North America and into northeastern Asia. In our province it occurs only in Labrador. These fish can grow to a maximum size of 22 inches and 4.5 pounds.

Habitat

Shallow areas (usually less than 150 ft.(46m)) of lakes and clear streams. Rarely found in brackish (salty) waters.

Food

This bottom feeder eats a variety of benthic (bottom) invertebrates including mayfly larvae, caddisfly larvae, small mollusks such as fingernail clams and snails, and the eggs of other fish species such as Lake Trout.

Appearance

Brown to bronze above, dark-edged scales, silver-white sides, amber lower fins, dusky dorsal (back) fin and tail fins; fairly pointed snout.

Breeding Biology

Spawning occurs in the fall on gravelly shoals in lakes or at the mouths of rivers at temperatures of 4.6oC. Males usually arrive on the spawning grounds before the females. Neither males nor females eat before or during spawning activities. During spawning fish swim in pairs, but like other whitefish, no care is given to the eggs or the young. Females can carry between 2,000 to 11,000 eggs depending on body size. Eggs take roughly 140 days to hatch.

 

 
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