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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Blackfin Cisco in Canada

Habitat

Habitat Requirements

As reported in the 1988 status report (Parker 1988), information on the habitat of blackfin cisco is limited. The blackfin cisco was considered to inhabit deeper waters than most other cisco species in the Great Lakes (Scott and Crossman 1973), and had been taken at depths of 183 m in Lake Huron (Koelz 1929). Clarke and Todd (1980) reported that blackfin cisco occurred at depths of 90-160 m in lakes Huron and Michigan. In Lake Nipigon, Dymond (1926) reported that blackfin cisco were captured at depths to 104 m, but were common at shallower depths (37 m) in the summer. They have also been captured in Lake Nipigon at depths of between 10-50 m (R. Salmon, OMNR, pers. comm. 2003). Data collected on the Little Jackfish River, a tributary to Lake Nipigon, suggest that some fish are found at shallower depths than in lakes (UMA 1987). Fish taken in the summer and fall from the Ogoki River, a tributary to the Albany River, were caught at depths of 1-13 m over a mixture of bedrock/silt, gravel/silt or pure silt substrate (D. Stanley, pers. comm. 2005).


Trends

Little is known about trends in the deepwater habitats of the Great Lakes and Lake Nipigon; however, the preferred deepwater habitat of blackfin cisco has likely changed little over time (Berst and Spangler 1973).


Protection/Ownership

The Great Lakes and Lake Nipigon are publicly owned, and all fish habitat within Lake Nipigon, and the Canadian portion of Lake Huron, is protected by the federal Fisheries Act.