Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a genus of fishes of the family Salmonidae. The elongate body reaches a length of 75 cm and a weight of 8 kg (rarely 16 kg); it is covered with relatively large scales. The back is dark in coloration, and the sides are silvery. The mouth is small, and the jaws are toothless.
Large groups of the fishes are present in the basin of the Arctic Ocean and in the northern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. There are migratory, lake, and river forms. The fishes are divided into three groups: those having a superior mouth (European and least ciscoes), those having a terminal mouth (arctic cisco, tugun, peled), and those having an inferior mouth (muksun, broad whitefish, C. cylindraceus, and the common whitefish). Spawning usually occurs between September and November; the roe are small and hatch before spring. The fishes feed on invertebrates and, to a lesser extent, on fishes. They are important commercially. In the USSR the largest catches are from Lakes Onega and Ladoga, Siberia and southeastern parts of the Barents Sea. The arctic cisco, ludoga whitefish, Chud whitefish, and Volkhov whitefish are bred artificially; many species have been acclimatized to various bodies of water.