Plants and Animals

Coregonus artedi Lake herring or Cisco

Key Characteristics

This salmon is elongate and nearly round in cross section. Its lower jaw projects slightly beyond the upper jaw and the upper jaw reaches to the front of the pupil. The number of gill rakes is generally the most reliable method for correct identification: 38-53 in Lake Superior, 40-43 in Lake Huron, and from 38-64 in inland lakes.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona32009
Alger112017
Allegan42006
Alpena41993
Antrim42006
Baraga42002
Barry42009
Benzie22006
Berrien11995
Branch11986
Cass52009
Charlevoix21995
Cheboygan32009
Chippewa162009
Crawford11987
Dickinson11986
Emmet11985
Gogebic62009
Grand Traverse32006
Hillsdale42009
Houghton102006
Huron31990
Iosco31998
Iron12006
Jackson22009
Kalamazoo11991
Kalkaska42006
Kent12006
Keweenaw162001
Leelanau32006
Livingston31991
Luce22006
Mackinac102006
Manistee21994
Marquette112009
Montmorency22006
Newaygo11984
Oakland72006
Ontonagon52009
Ottawa11997
Presque Isle42000
Roscommon11987
Schoolcraft42006
St. Joseph22011
Van Buren21995
Washtenaw62009

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Lake herring are found in deep inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes at depths ranging from 18 to 53 meters. They can be found in shallower depths (9-12 m) when spawning over rocky substrates.

Specific Habitat Needs

Deep water needed in: Great Lake, Pelagic, Midwater.

Natural Community Types

  • Great lake, pelagic, midwater
  • Inland lake, pelagic, midwater
  • River (5th-6th order), pool
  • River (5th-6th order), run

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

Exotic species, such as the alewife and sea lamprey, are major threats to lake herring. Eutrophication is the greatest threat to inland lake populations of lake herring. Local pollution also affects this species. Hence, exotic species and nutrient management are important to this species. In addition, the loss of food resources such as Diporeia, is an issue for this species.

Active Period

Migration from first week of April to first week of June

Spawning from fourth week of September to first week of December

Survey Methods

Sampling at this time should be directed to shallow areas.

Gill nets

Survey Period: From first week of November to fourth week of October

Trawls

Survey Period: From first week of November to fourth week of October

References

Survey References

  • Murphy, B.R. and D.W. Willis, eds. 1996. Fisheries Techniques, 2nd ed. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda. 732pp.

Technical References

  • Bailey, R.M., W.C. Latta, and G.R. Smith. 2004. An Atlas of Michigan Fishes. Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 192, Ann Arbor. 215p.
  • Evers, D.C. 1994. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife of Michigan. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 412pp.
  • Page, L. M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432pp.
  • Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bulletin 184, Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Ottawa. 966pp.
  • Smith, C.L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany. 522pp.
  • Smith, P.W. 1961. The amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, Carbondale. Bulletin No. 28. 298 pp.