This study is based on a sample of 415 whitefish collected in 1953 from an unexploited population in Munising Bay, Lake Superior. Gill-net and trawl catches had different length-frequency distributions and age compositions, but estimates of growth from the two catches were very similar. The body-scale relation is a straight line with an intercept of 1.5 inches. Weight of Munising Bay whitefish captured in June increased as the 3.17 power of the length. Growth in length and weight of Munising Bay whitefish was the slowest yet reported from Great Lakes waters. Munising Bay whitefish required nearly 8 years to reach a length of 10 inches and a full 13 years to reach 15 inches. Slightly more than 8 years were required to reach a weight of 8 ounces and a little less than 14 years to reach 1 pound. The sex ratio of the Munising Bay whitefish exhibited no systematic change with an increase in age. The entire sample for which ages were determined contained 52 percent males. Munising Bay whitefish matured at much shorter lengths but at a greater age than reported for other Great Lakes whitefish populations. The smallest mature males were in the 11.5- to 11.9-inch length interval (age-group VII) and all males longer than 14.4 inches (age-group XII) were mature. The first mature females appeared at 12.0-12.4 inches (age-group X) and all females longer than 14.9 inches (age-group XII) were mature. The more rapidly growing individuals matured earlier than the slow-growing ones.
Additional publication details
Age and growth of the whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis, of Munising Bay, Lake Superior