Mountain Whitefish


The Mountain Whitefish, scientifically named Prosopium williamsoni, is‌ a member of the Salmonidae family, which also includes salmon, trout,⁤ and other types of whitefish.

Conservation Status

The Mountain Whitefish ​is not currently considered a threatened or ⁢endangered species. Conservation efforts focus primarily on maintaining ‌healthy, clean waterways, as this species is sensitive to water pollution.


Average Range
Length 30 ​cm (12 in) 20-50 cm (8-20 in)
Weight 1 ​kg ⁤(2 lbs) 0.5-1.5 kg (1-3⁢ lbs)

The Mountain Whitefish has an average lifespan of five‌ to fifteen years. ⁢Both males and females reach sexual maturity around three years of‍ age.


Mountain Whitefish are found in the fresh waters of North America, ranging from the‌ Mackenzie River in Canada to the Truckee River in Nevada, USA. Their distribution spans the Columbia River,‍ Sacramento ⁤River, and Fraser River. They show little seasonal migration, although smaller upstream ⁢movements have been recorded during spawning periods.


Mountain Whitefish inhabit freshwater bodies ⁤such as rivers,‍ streams, and lakes. They are bottom-dwellers, often ⁣found at depths of 3-9 meters. They prefer colder temperatures,‌ usually below ⁣20 degrees Celsius.

When⁤ and Where to See

Mountain Whitefish are‍ active all year round,‌ although they tend to be more visible during their spawning season from October to‌ December. During these months, they can ​often be seen in large numbers in⁤ shallow waters.

Best Fishing Locations

Mountain Whitefish‍ are abundant in North America, particularly in the‌ following‌ locations:

  1. Bow River, Alberta
  2. Snake River, Idaho
  3. Green River, Wyoming
  4. Madison River, Montana
  5. Yampa River, Colorado
  6. Skagit River, Washington
  7. St. Mary River, Montana
  8. Truckee River, Nevada
  9. Flathead River, Montana
  10. Colorado River, Colorado

Fishing Tips

Streamers, nymphs, and small, brightly-colored lures seem most⁤ effective in attracting Mountain Whitefish. ⁣These fish ‌prefer deeper waters, so fishing by bottom-bouncing or drift-fishing are recommended.

How⁤ to Catch

Fly fishing can be very successful when targeting Mountain Whitefish due to their preference for small, non-reflective prey. The best fishing times are during early morning and late evening hours.

Identification Guide

Mountain Whitefish have slender bodies, silvery-gray coloration,​ and small heads. They⁤ are​ distinguishable from other species by their pointed snouts and forked tails.


Mountain Whitefish is known for​ its ‌delicate, mild flavor. It’s ‌typically grilled,​ smoked, or used in‌ fish stews. Nutritionally, it’s a great source of ⁢protein, vitamin D, and​ omega-3 fatty acids.

Additional Information

Mountain Whitefish primarily feed on insects, crustaceans, and small fish. They reproduce by laying ⁢their ⁤eggs in gravel beds ⁣in shallow ⁢waters. Human activities such as construction ​and pollution pose threats⁢ to their habitats.

References‍ and Further ⁢Reading

1. FishBase: Mountain Whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni)
2. US Forest Service: Mountain Whitefish
3. Journal of Fisheries Management: Life History of Mountain Whitefish
4. In-Fisherman: Mountain Whitefish