The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Whitefish, Lake – Lake Erie

Lake Whitefish is a fast growing freshwater fish that can reach a length of three feet, a weight of roughly 42 pounds, and live for 50 years.  Lake Whitefish are found throughout the Great Lakes and are the main commercial fish species there.

The abundance of Lake Whitefish has varied over time. Currently, abundance of Lake Whitefish in Lake Erie is low and the population is likely depleted. Several factors are impacting Whitefish populations in the Great Lakes, particularly competition and predation from invasive species, loss of their primary food source, and habitat degradation.

Whitefish are caught by trap nets and bottom gillnets. The fisheries also catch several other important Great Lakes fish. These fishing methods cause low damage to bottom habitats.

Full species report here.