Stenodus nelma, known alternatively as the nelma, sheefish, inconnu or connie, is a commercial species of freshwater whitefish in the family Salmonidae. It is widespread in the Arctic rivers from the Kola Peninsula (White Sea basin) eastward across Siberia to the Anadyr River and also in the North American basins of the Yukon River and Mackenzie River.
Appearance and lifestyle
Stenodus nelma is an anadromous fish, up to 150 centimetres (59 in) in length. The fish has a large mouth with a protruding lower jaw and a high and pointed dorsal fin. It is generally silver in color with a green, blue or brown back. The meat is white, flaky and somewhat oily. An adult fish weighs from 14 to 25 kilograms (31 to 55 lb).
The fish eat plankton for their first year of life and then become predators of smaller fish. They live in lakes and rivers and in the brackish water at the outlets of rivers into the ocean, and may migrate 1,500 kilometres (930 mi) to spawn.
Stenodus nelma has previously been considered a subspecies of Stenodus leucichthys (S. leucichthys nelma). The typical Stenodus leucichthys (beloribitsa) is a landlocked Eurasian species restricted to the Caspian Sea basin, and now extinct in the wild.
- Kottelat, M.; Freyhof, J. (2007). Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes. ISBN 978-2-8399-0298-4.
- Freyhof, J.; and Kottelat, M. (2008). "Stenodus nelma". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- Eschmeyer F. Catalog of Fishes (Search: Stenodus (species)) California Academy of Sciences. (15 March 2012 version)
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Stenodus nelma" in FishBase. February 2013 version.
- Belyaeva, E. S. "Stenodus leucichthys leucichthys". caspianenvironment.org.
- Freyhof, J.; and Kottelat, M. (2008). "Stenodus leucichthys". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011. International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- "Mackenzie River Ecosystem: A Dynamic Delta: Inconnu: The "Unknown" Fish" GreatCanadianRivers.com
- Stenodus leucichthys nelma Illustration by N.N. Kondrakov. NOAA Photo Library.
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