Mountain whitefish (Prosopium wiliamsoni) caught by Dano and Gee in Mayberry Park, Reno. Oct 2014. Photo: GeeVee @bravofour.
“It spawns in October, large numbers then moving up the tributaries of lake Tahoe. The migration is said to last about two weeks, being at its height near the middle of the month…The mountain whitefish seems to be particularly fond of the eggs of spawning fishes, and sometimes their stomachs will be found filled with the eggs of their own species.” -John Otterbein Snyder, 1917
Mountain whitefish are native to many areas of the Western US, including the Truckee River. They feed during evening or night on aquatic insects, including immature forms (larvae and nymphs) of caddis flies, mayflies, stoneflies and other aquatic insects (Sigler & Sigler 1987). They tend to be bottom feeders, but sometimes feed at the surface in lakes (Rivers 1994). Mountain whitefish breed in late fall (November – December), moving into stream riffles or shallow gravel areas of lakes to spawn. They seem to prefer rivers to lakes, but some do live in Lake Tahoe (Sigler & Sigler 1987). Mountain whitefish are good for eating, but not a common target species for fisherman (Rivers 1994).
Rivers, I. L. (1994). Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press.
Sigler, W. F., & Sigler, J. W. (1987). Fishes of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno: University of Nevada Press.
Snyder, John O. 1917. The Fishes of the Lahontan System of Nevada and Northeastern California. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Volume XXXV, 1915-16. Document No. 843, September 28, 1917.