Shortnose cisco

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Shortnose Cisco
Coregonus reighardi.png
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Salmoniformes
Family: Salmonidae
Subfamily: Coregoninae
Genus: Coregonus
Species: C. reighardi
Binomial name
Coregonus reighardi
(Koelz, 1924)

The shortnose cisco (Coregonus reighardi) is a North American species of freshwater fish in the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to the Great Lakes, formerly occurring in Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Ontario in Canada and the United States. The last reported population was restricted to Georgian Bay off Lake Huron in Canada.

Reaching a maximum recorded length of 36 cm (14 in) and a maximum recorded weight of 540 g (1 lb 3 oz), the shortnose cisco is distinguished from the other whitefishes by its thicker body (nearly circular in cross-section), short head (the source of the fish's common name), and small eye.

Like many Coregonus species, the shortnose cisco is poorly understood, and little is known about its breeding or life-cycle except that it spawns in the spring at the lake bottom; the oldest specimen collected was eight years of age. The fish feeds on crustaceans, molluscs, and zooplankton.

The IUCN considers C. reighardi to be Critically Endangered on the basis of plummeting population, caused by environmental degradation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources, however, consider the species already extinct, on the basis that no specimen has been collected since 1985. The species was last confirmed present in Lake Ontario in 1964, in Lake Michigan in 1974, and in Georgian Bay in 1985. Predation by the alien sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), in combination with commercial overfishing, has contributed to the fish's drastic reduction in numbers and possible extirpation.