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Canada's Species   Fish

Cisco, lake herring

Coregonus artedii

The cisco generally grows to be 15-25 cm in length. It is easily recognised as a slender, silvery fish that is found in coldwater lakes throughout Canada. The cisco is often referred to as a 'forage fish' because it serves as the primary prey fish for many of the larger predatory fish like lake trout and pike. The cisco itself feeds on zooplankton, which consist of tiny crustaceans. In doing so, this species serves as a crucial food chain link between the zooplankton and the sport fish that end up on the dinner table.

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