Common Whitefish

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe species is strongly variable, breaking down to numerous morphs only similar in their downward mouths, heads smaller and snouts straighter than those of the round-nosed whitefish. The number of gill rakers differs from 15 to 60, and they can be smooth or crenate; their bodies can be wide, narrow or elongated. They can be migratory, river or lake; large and small; feeding on bottom plankton and be predators. The Peipsi whitefish is a rare-raker whitefish of the group lavaretus. In the Pskov-Peipsi water body, the whitefish inhabits the deeper Lake Peipus, and is quite rare in the PskovLake. The population of whitefish in the PeipsiLake is rather small. It is limited by commercial fishing, other fish (ruffe, perches and whitefish) preying on their roe, and the high summer time temperature aggravated by the fact that the Peipsi whitefish suffer from parasitic infection weakening the overall resistance of the organism.

The Peipsi whitefish is endemic to the PeipsiLake. In the late 20th century, the Peipsi whitefish was actively supplied as roe to fisheries of Poland, Germany, Romania and even Japan. Its length is up to 60 cm, weight up to 3.5 kg. Its numbers dropped significantly over the recent decades.

The species is red-listed in Russia and internationally.

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