Mountain Whitefish

A slender silver fish, the Mountain Whitefish has a light brown back and fins, and the sides and belly are silver and white with no spots. The tail is deeply forked, and the body is deep and round. The mouth is small with no teeth. The Mountain Whitefish has a large fleshy adipose fin, and large and rough scales.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Prosopium williamsoni
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
7-8 Years
SIZE
10-19 ” | 1-3 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

A stream resident, Mountain Whitefish have a wide distribution in western North America. Known populations in Nevada occur in a number of larger streams in western and northeastern Nevada. It is common in larger Sierra front streams (Truckee, Walker rivers) but has limited distribution in the Carson River. It is also found in the Jarbidge, Bruneau, and South Fork and East Fork Owyhee Rivers of Elko County.

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation

Natural History

Mountain whitefish are native to many areas of the Western US, including northern Nevada. Feeding during evening or night on aquatic insects including larvae and nymphs, they are primarily bottom feeders. They breed in late fall and prefer rivers to lakes. The Mountain Whitefish is good for eating but not a common species for anglers to pursue.