Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Whitefish, Lake

© New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Whitefish, Lake Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Gizzard Fish, Grande Coregone, Sault Whitefish, Whitefish Lake Superior, Lake Huron Wild
Whitefish, Lake Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Gizzard Fish, Grande Coregone, Sault Whitefish, Whitefish Lake Michigan Set Gillnet
Whitefish, Lake Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Gizzard Fish, Grande Coregone, Sault Whitefish, Whitefish Lake Michigan Trap-net
Whitefish, Lake Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Gizzard Fish, Grande Coregone, Sault Whitefish, Whitefish Lake Erie Wild
Whitefish, Round Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Pilot & Frost Fish, Menominee Whitefish, Round-fish Lake Huron, Lake Michigan Wild


Lake Whitefish, Wild, Great Lakes

Great Lakes populations of lake whitefish were reduced in the mid-1900s by overfishing, habitat damage and the introduction of non-native species. Today, the species has recovered and is a "Best Choice" from Lake Superior and Lake Huron, and from Lake Michigan when caught by trap net.

Summary

Lake whitefish is found throughout North America and is the dominant deepwater fish in the Great Lakes. For over a century, the Great Lakes have supported an important commercial lake whitefish fishery with most of the U.S. catch originating in Lake Michigan and the majority of the Canadian catch coming from Lake Huron.

In the mid-1900s, a combination of overfishing, habitat degradation and the introduction of invasive, non-native species virtually wiped out lake whitefish in many areas of the Great Lakes. Restoration projects have led to their recovery.

While lake whitefish from the Great Lakes are again healthy, abundant and well managed, there are concerns about bycatch levels and habitat impacts by fisheries using gillnets - impacts that are currently not well understood.

Lake whitefish in Lake Huron and Lake Superior are a "Best Choice," while those caught in Lake Erie are a "Good Alternative." In Lake Michigan, fish caught by trap net are considered a "Best Choice," while those caught by gillnet are a "Good Alternative."


Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
Seafood Watch Card Print a pocket-size Seafood Watch guide to take with you.
Mobile phone users log on to mobile.seafoodwatch.org.

iPhone® and iPod touch® users, you can get the most up-to-date Seafood Watch recommendations on your iPhone or iPod touch.

How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat