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

Special Significance of the Species

The anadromous nature of this species makes their migration into the Yukon Territory of some significance, especially considering the large distances involved. Their occurrence in Canada may represent a peripheral spawning population on the farthest edge of their migratory range (Milligan, pers. comm., 2003). Peripheral populations are routinely given special consideration in conservation (Lesica and Allendorf 1995). The large Alaskan spawning migrations are believed to sustain coastal populations that are thought to significantly contribute to the ecology of the Bering Sea. The species is known to elders of the First Nations peoples in the Dawson area and recognized as distinct from other whitefishes. They refer to it as the small-mouth whitefish or ik-canoo, but do not fish specifically for it (Nagano, pers. comm., 2004).