The round whitefish has been of some commercial importance in the upper Great Lakes but production in Lake Superior has generally been small; the United States average was 26,600 pounds for 1929-59. This study is based on 1,173 fish collected in the Apostle Islands in 1958-60 and 103 collected at Isle Royale in 1958 and 1960. The average age of 6.0 years at Isle Royale was concluded to be significantly higher than the mean of 4.2 years in the Apostle Islands. The body-scale relation is a straight line with an intercept of 1.1 inches on the length axis. Weight of Apostle Islands round whitefish captured in several months increased as the 3.22 power of the length. Growth in length was relatively slow; nearly or fully 7 years were required to reach an acceptable commercial length of 14 inches in both the Apostle Islands and at Isle Royale. The calculated weights at the end of the seventh year were 12.6 ounces in the Apostle Islands and 13.8 ounces at Isle Royale. Minimum length at maturity of male round whitefish (7.0-7.4 inches) was less than that of females (8.5-8.9 inches). At age-group II, 11.1 percent of male round whitefish, but only 1.5 percent of the females were mature. All males were mature as age-group V and all females as age-group VI. Males dominated the younger age groups but females were more numerous in the older ones. Estimates of the number of eggs in 37 round whitefish ovaries yielded an average of 5,330 eggs for fish 10.5-17.4 inches long.
Additional publication details
Age, growth, and maturity of round whitefish of the Apostle Islands and Isle Royale Regions, Lake Superior