Latin Name

Stenodus leucichthys

Group Name


Taxonomy details


Inconnu are closely related to whitefish and are found in the arctic drainages of northwestern North America and Asia. Very little is known about the habits of this fish in North America. Inconnu are found in and around Teslin Lake in the upper Yukon River, the Peel River and the large shield lakes of the Northwest Territories. It seems that the populations in the large lakes of the Yukon and Mackenzie drainages the fish spawn in the lake tributaries and grow and mature in the lakes. Populations found in smaller coastal rivers are anadromous, meaning that they spawn in freshwater and spend some part of their lives in the ocean. Inconnu are thought to spend very little time in the ocean in close proximity to their native stream. They inhabit coastal brackish water during summer and freshwater rivers and lakes throughout the year. In some large rivers, inconnu are known to undertake large seasonal migrations from winter habitats in the lower reaches to summer and spawning habitats in the headwaters.

Species Description

Inconnu are large whitefish, measuring up to 1.5 meters. They can weight 9- 14 kilograms, although most adults are 30 to 70 cm long and between two to seven kilograms. Inconnu have a distinctive appearance, with a long, tapered body, a long, broad head, and a lower jaw that juts out beyond the upper jaw. At the tip of the lower jaw there are rows of tiny, densely-packed teeth. Inconnu have large fins with dark tips and a strongly forked tail fin. Inconnu have an adipose fin, a soft, fleshy fin on the back just in front of the tail. Inconnu are bright silvery fish with green to pale brown on their backs, silver sides and silvery white below. Inconnu appear to take at least seven years to mature or at least twice as long as most other whitefish, trout and salmon.