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Stenodus leucichthys  (Güldenstädt, 1772)

Sheefish
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Stenodus leucichthys
Picture by Hillen, B.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Salmoniformes (Salmons) > Salmonidae (Salmonids) > Coregoninae
Etymology: Stenodus: Greek, stenos = narrow + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335);  leucichthys: leucichthys meaning white fish (Ref. 1998).

Issue
Stenodus nelma (Pallas, 1773) is a valid species according to Kottelat and Freyhof (2007: Ref. 82592). The corresponding species summary page will be created in the future.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - ? m (Ref. 4779).   Boreal; 73°N - 58°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 70 - 75 cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4574); common length : 61.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 40.0 kg (Ref. 10318); max. reported age: 22 years (Ref. 4576)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-19; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 14 - 19; Vertebrae: 63 - 69. Distinguished by its large mouth, the protruding lower jaw, and the presence of only 13 to 17 gill rakers on the lower limb of the first gill arch (Ref. 27547). Dorsal fin high and pointed; pelvic fins with well developed axillary process (Ref. 27547). Generally silvery, with the back usually rather green, blue or pale brown; silvery white below; dorsal and caudal fins have dusky margins, other fins pale (Ref. 27547).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: Arctic drainages from Anderson River in Northwest Territories, Canada to Kuskokwim River (Bering Sea tributary) in Alaska. Upstream in Mackenzie River and Yukon River drainages to British Columbia, Canada (Ref. 5723). Eurasia: Caspian Sea (common in central and southern Caspian in summer), Volga, Ural and Terak drainages (Ref. 59043). Hybridization with Coregonus nelsoni, Coregonus autumnalis and Coregonus muksun are due more to the broadcasting of eggs and sperm rather than pairing between species or genera (Ref. 27547).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Nerito-pelagic (Ref. 58426). Occurs in coastal brackish waters near mouths of rivers, but usually in rivers or some land-locked lakes (Ref. 4779). At the sea, it is found throughout basin in pelagic zone with temperatures below 18° C and 20-50 m deep (Ref. 59043). Juveniles and adult overwinter and forage at the sea. Encountered in large lowland rivers during migration (Ref. 59043). Adults feed mostly on small fishes; young eat aquatic insect larvae and planktonic crustaceans (Ref. 4779). During spawning migration, it feeds little if at all (Ref. 27547). Spawns on gravel shallows (Ref. 59043). Flesh is white, sweet and slightly oily (Ref. 27547). Sold fresh or frozen.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Upstream migration from wintering areas begins at ice break-up. Early upstream movement may be associated with feeding, but movement soon becomes a definite migration to the spawning area. Spawning begins at dusk, and continuing well into the night. A female accompanied by a male, swims to the surface near the upstream end of the spawning ground. She rapidly moves across the current, extruding her eggs. The male, stays below the female so that as the eggs sink, sperm released, fertilizes the eggs. After completing a spawning pass, the female drifts downstream. She may repeat the spawning act over the downstream portion of the spawning area or may move upstream to the head of the grounds before releasing more eggs. Following spawning, there is a fairly rapid downstream migration to wintering grounds (Ref. 27547). It is not certain if spawning occurs annually or at longer intervals (Ref. 27547). Russian fish appear to spawn only every third or fourth year (Ref. 28219). Spawning frequency at Selawik, Alaska may be every other year (Ref. 27547).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Svetovidov, A.N., 1984. Salmonidae. p. 373-385. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. vol. 1. (Ref. 4779)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00227 - 0.00666), b=3.17 (3.02 - 3.32), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.2   ±0.75 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.05-0.10; tm=9-12; tmax=22; Fec=80,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (74 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.