Atlantic whitefish (Coregonus huntsmani) are globally endangered, found only in Milipsigate, Minamkeak, and Hebb Lakes in the Petite Rivière Watershed in Lunenburg County. Historically, the species was additionally found in the Tusket River Watershed in Yarmouth County but is now extirpated from that system.
Both natural and human-induced pressures and threats have contributed to the decline and continued low abundance of the species. These include habitat degradation, barriers to fish passage, and the introduction of non-native species, smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and chain pickerel (Esox niger).
An Atlantic whitefish in the rotary screw trap holding box (December 2018). The first live adult Atlantic whitefish observed in the wild since 2014.
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Coastal Action initiated the Atlantic Whitefish Recovery Project (AWRP) in April 2004 in partnership with the Atlantic Whitefish Conservation and Recovery Team (AWC&RT). The long-term goals of the project are to stabilize the current population of the Atlantic whitefish, restore the anadromous nature of the fish, and expand their current range. The project began with a focus on raising public awareness of this species, as well as attempting to build a strong stewardship foundation in the community. It has since expanded to include direct recovery actions such as invasive species management, habitat monitoring and restoration, and capturing larval fish in the wild as part of a breeding program at Dalhousie University.
What You Can Do
atlantic whitefish reports