Round Whitefish

Round Whitefish.


  • Common name: Round Whitefish
  • Scientific name: Prosopium cylindraceum
  • Order: Salmoniformes
  • Subfamily: Coregoninae

Also known as

Rounder, Shad Waiter


  • As their name suggests, Round Whitefish are almost cylindrical in cross-section.
  • Cigar-shaped body with strongly forked tail.
  • Laterally pinched snout; upper jaw extends past lower jaw; small down-turned mouth without teeth.
  • Small adipose fin.
  • Large, easily loosened scales cover their dark brown olive-green bodies, and silvery bellies.

Fast facts

  • Length: 20 to 35 cm
  • Weight: 0.25 to 1.0 kg
  • Habitat: Freshwater

Conservation status

What is conservation status?

  • Yukon: S5 (Secure)
  • Global: G5 (Secure)

Yukon population estimate

Not determined.


Round Whitefish are widely distributed in the Yukon. They are shallow water bottom feeders, found in lakes, rivers and streams, preferring clear water and migrating up tributary streams. They are documented to spawn during the day, which is unusual, as most whitefish spawn at night.


Aquatic insects, crustaceans, snails, clams and fish eggs.


Round Whitefish distribution map.

Round Whitefish and people

  • Its past reputation for waiting for the shad (another type of fish) to spawn and eating their eggs has earned the Round Whitefish the nickname “Shad Waiter” in New England.