Distribution in the area:
Baptiste Lake, Kamaniskeg Lake,
Lower Paudash Lake,
Coregonus, from the Greek, "angle
eye" artedi, in honor of Swedish naturalist Petrus Artedi,
a collegue of Linnaeus and the "Father of Ichthyology"
Other common names include: Blueback, Freshwater Herring,
Lake Herring, Tullibee
Phylum Chordata, animals with a spinal chord
Subphylum Vertebrata, animals with a backbone
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Order Salmoniformes, salmon and trout
Family Salmonidae, salmon and trout
Genus Coregonus, whitefishes
A small, slender-bodied relative
of the whitefish
½ - 2 lbs
back dark blue to pale olive
sides silvery with pink to purple iridescence
all fins basically clear, although anal and pelvic fins
are milky on adults
protruding lower jaw
Sexual maturity is reached by
about 3-4 years of age.
Identifiable as a member of
the Trout/Salmon family (Salmonidae) by its body shape
and adipose fin.
While some 14 similar and confusing species of Coregonus
are found in Canada and the northern US, only 2 are
native to the Boundary Waters.
Cisco is distinguished from Lake Whitefish (Coregonus
clupeaformis) by lower jaw extending up to or beyond
the tip of snout numerous, fine gillrakers
A pelagic species often found
in the cooler water below the thermocline in lakes where
thermal stratification develops. Also thrive in shallow,
Relatively shallow waters of the Great Lakes; infertile
inland lakes more than 30' deep.
Tend to swim in large schools at midwater depth, moving
to shallower water in fall as upper waters cool.
plankton; also terrestrial and aquatic insects, minnows,
and fish eggs.
An important food for large game fish.
Minnesota Record: 4lbs 3oz,
from Big Sandy Lake (Aitkin County).
sometimes taken on rod and reel, its main importance
to anglers seems to lie in its role as food for larger
game fish, especially Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush).
Harvested by commercial fishermen and of some economic
importance as a food fish. Marketed whole, dressed,
and smoked. The flesh of these fish is palatable. It
is also caught through the ice on jigs.
occurs in late fall when water temperatures drop below
about 40º F, when large spawning groups congregate.
Males move to spawning areas before females. In inland
lakes, spawning usually takes place in shallow water
(3-10 feet deep) over almost any type of bottom, but
often over gravel or stony substrate. In large lakes,
spawning may occur in shallow water or in deep water.
About 20,000-29,000 eggs are deposited on the lake bottom
by each female; no parental care is given eggs or young,
which hatch early the following spring.
common name Tullibee is credited to early Canadian fur
traders and is most commonly used in north Ontario,
the Prairie Provinces, and the Northwest Territories.