Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Coregonus albula



Coregonus albula (vendace)


  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Coregonus albula
  • Preferred Common Name
  • vendace
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Actinopterygii
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Vendace (C. albula) is a salmonid fish with native distribution in northern parts of Europe. It is an obligate planktivore with characteristics typical for pelagic fish; a protruded lower jaw and a slender body with black, silvery and w...

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Coregonus albula (Linnaeus, 1758)

Preferred Common Name

  • vendace

Other Scientific Names

  • Coregonus albula finnica Günther, 1866
  • Coregonus albula kiletz Michailovsky, 1903
  • Coregonus albula ladogae Pravdin, Golubev & Belyaeva, 1938
  • Coregonus albula ladogensis Berg, 1948
  • Coregonus albula norvegica Günther, 1866
  • Coregonus albula olonensis Borisov, 1924
  • Coregonus albula perejaslawica Polyakov, 1874
  • Coregonus albula pereslavicus Berg, 1932
  • Coregonus albula pereslawicus Borisov, 1924
  • Coregonus albula topozeri Novikov, 1947
  • Coregonus albula vodlosericus Lukash, 1939
  • Coregonus brevis Mäklin, 1869
  • Coregonus sardinella marisalbi Berg, 1916
  • Coregonus sardinella vessicus Dryagin, 1932
  • Cyprinus muraenula Wulff, 1765
  • Salmo albula Linnaeus, 1758
  • Salmo albula Linneus, 1758
  • Salmo maraenula Bloch, 1782
  • Salmo vimba Linnaeus, 1758

International Common Names

  • English: european cisco; vendace; white fish
  • Spanish: coregono blanco
  • French: corégone blanc; petite marène
  • Russian: evropeiskaja riapushka; evropeiskaya ryapushka

Local Common Names

  • Belarus: evropeiskaja riapushka
  • Czech Republic: maréna malá; síh malý
  • Denmark: heltling
  • Estonia: raabis
  • Finland: muikku
  • France: coregone blanc
  • Germany: Felchen; Kleine Marane; Kleine Maräne; Maräne; Renke; Schnäpel; Zwergmaräne
  • Greece: korégonos
  • Italy: coregone bianco
  • Kazakhstan: european cisco
  • Latvia: repsis
  • Lithuania: seliava
  • Netherlands: kleine marene
  • Norway: lagesild
  • Poland: sielawa
  • Portugal: coregono branco; coregono-bicudo
  • Romania: coregon-mic; pastrav argintiu
  • Russian Federation: ryapushka
  • Slovakia: sih malý
  • Spain: coregono blanco
  • Sweden: siklöja
  • Switzerland: petite marene
  • UK: european cisco; fendace; vendace
  • UK/England and Wales: fendas
  • USA: vendace

Summary of Invasiveness

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Vendace (C. albula) is a salmonid fish with native distribution in northern parts of Europe. It is an obligate planktivore with characteristics typical for pelagic fish; a protruded lower jaw and a slender body with black, silvery and white dorsal, lateral, and ventral sides, respectively. Another typical pelagic character of vendace is diel vertical migration behaviour. It has an opportunistic life history with many small eggs, high mortality rates, and a relatively short generation time. It is highly specialized, and considered the most specialized zooplanktivorous fish species in the Scandinavian freshwater fish fauna by Svärdson (1976).

Vendace have been introduced into non-native lake systems in many countries, and in some of them changes within the colonizer population have been studied. However, scientific studies of the effects of vendace invasion on the receiving ecosystem are limited to the Inari-Pasvik watercourse in the border area between Russia, Finland and Norway. Research here has examined effects on the resource level (Bøhn and Amundsen, 1998; Amundsen et al., 2009), effects from exploitative competition (Bøhn and Amundsen, 2001, 2004; Gjelland et al., 2007; Bøhn et al., 2008), as prey for piscivorous predators (Jensen et al., 2008), and experiments using brown trout stocking as an agent for biological control of vendace (K.Ø. Gjelland, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, in prep.).

Strong effects from the vendace planktivory have been reported as reduced zooplankton diversity, reduced individual zooplankter size, and reduced zooplankton densities. This has resulted in lowered zooplankton availability for planktivorous fish, and to a large extent displaced native planktivores from the pelagic fish communities through exploitative competition. Due to its relatively small size, vendace is an attractive prey and an important food source for pelagic piscivores. Vendace have been purposely introduced to a wide range of lakes and reservoirs.

Studies of changes in the invading vendace population come from many different lake systems, e.g. Lake Osensjøen, southern Norway (Vuorinen et al., 1991; Sandlund, 1992), Solovetsky Islands (Goordeva et al., 2009), Ural (Nesterenko, 1976), Volga drainage (Semenov, 2011), Kazakhstan (Mitrofanov and Petr, 1999), and Inari-Pasvik watercourse (Amundsen et al., 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Actinopterygii
  •                     Order: Salmoniformes
  •                         Family: Salmonidae
  •                             Genus: Coregonus
  •                                 Species: Coregonus albula

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Some authors recognize coregonids as a distinct family (Coregonidae), classified as a sister family to Salmonidae (e.g. Johnson and Patterson, 1996). The complexity of phenotypic and genotypic variation within the coregonids poses a challenge to the coregonid nomenclature. Distinguishing between C. albula and C. sardinella may be unclear (Bodaly et al., 1991), particularly in the intersection region between the Ural mountains, Lake Onega and the White Sea of the two species geographic distributions (Goordeva et al., 2009).


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The back of the vendace is dark green/blue/black, flanks silvery white, belly whitish, tip of snout and lower jaw black. Body is slender when small, moderately slender with increasing size, head relatively small, lower jaw projects beyond tip of snout, upper jaw reaches back to level of pupil, tip of lower jaw fits into a groove in the upper jaw. Gillrakers 45-52. Pre-dorsal distance greater than distance from dorsal origin to base of last anal finray; dorsal finrays iii-iv 8-9, anal finrays iii-iv 10-12 (13). Scales moderate, 77-85 (86, 88) in lateral line. Vertebrae 57-59 (60) (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2008).

Vendace matures within the second to fifth years of life, at lengths 9-20 cm. In most populations, vendace rarely attain lengths >25 cm (Sandlund et al., 1992; Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007; Amundsen et al., 2012), but in some lakes small and large grown forms co-exist (Reshetnikov, 2003; Gordeeva et al., 2009).


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The native range of vendace is within drainages connected with the North and Baltic Sea, between the British Isles in the west and the Petchora drainage (Russia) in the East (Svetovidov, 1984; Groot, 1990; Reshetnikov, 2003; Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007, 2008; Etheridge et al., 2012). Some populations are also found in drainages to the White Sea and in lakes of the upper Volga drainage (Reshetnikov, 1980).

The core of the distribution is within systems presently or previously draining to the Baltic Sea (Ancylus Sea) (Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation and Sweden; Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007, 2008). Within and at the fringes of its geographic range, it has also been translocated and introduced to many lakes and reservoirs where it was previously absent (e.g. Vuorinen et al., 1991; Mutenia and Salonen, 1992; Goordeva et al., 2009; Semenov, 2011).

The Inari-Pasvik watercourse drains to the Barents Sea, and vendace populations within this watercourse are non-native and derive from translocation of vendace within Finland (Mutenia and Salonen, 1992; Amundsen et al., 1999). Likewise, some of the vendace populations in watercourses draining to the White Sea may derive from translocations within Russia (Goordeva et al., 2009). Vendace is native to some lakes of the upper Volga drainage, but has spread downstream and established in reservoirs after several dam constructions during the twentieth century (Leppäkoski et al., 2002; Semenov, 2011). Vendace has also established in lakes in the Urals and in Kazakhstan after translocations within Russia (Nesterenko, 1976; Mitrofanov and Petr, 1999).

The native vendace populations of the British Isles are threatened (Etheridge et al., 2012).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


KazakhstanPresentIntroducedSource unknown. Hybridizations with other coregonids


BelarusPresentIntroducedSource unknown
CzechiaPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced
DenmarkPresent, LocalizedNative
EstoniaPresent, WidespreadNative
FinlandPresent, WidespreadNative
GermanyPresent, LocalizedNative
HungaryAbsent, Formerly present1958Introduced from Poland and Czech Rep. For mosquito control and by spread from other countires
NetherlandsPresentIntroducedSource unknown. Introduced for aquaculture; First reported: 1900-1924
NorwayPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasiveIntroduced partly from other lakes, partly by spread from introductions in neighbouring countries
PolandPresent, WidespreadNative
RomaniaPresentIntroducedIntroduced from USSR by government. For aquaculture
-Northern RussiaPresent, WidespreadNativeMany translocations. The invasiveness has not been studied
SwedenPresent, WidespreadNative
UkrainePresent, LocalizedIntroduced
United KingdomPresentNative

North America

United StatesPresentIntroducedFirst reported: 1880 - 1889
-MaineAbsent, Formerly presentUnsuccessful introductions into two lakes in Maine

Sea Areas

Atlantic - NortheastPresent, WidespreadThe main marine vendace distributions are found in the Bothnian Bay and in the Gulf of Finland (FAO subdivision 31 and 32, respectively), and inshore in the Baltic
Mediterranean and Black SeaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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Vendace is a valuable species for freshwater fisheries and also marine fisheries in the Bothnian Bay (northern part of the Baltic Sea) and in the Gulf of Finland. Vendace have been introduced into non-native lake systems in many countries; in some of them changes within the colonizer population have been studied, and reduced food availability has been indicated. Most introductions are related to deliberate stocking and/or aquaculture for the purpose of increasing the potential for freshwater fisheries. Subsequent establishment and spread depends on the characteristics of the receiving ecosystem, and may be aided by the construction of reservoirs (e.g. Semenov, 2011).

There are many accounts of introduction, mostly in Europe within or at the fringes of the geographic range of native vendace. Accounts also exist for more remote locations such as for Maine, USA (unsuccessful introduction; Fuller and Nico, 2012) and for Kazakhstan (established; Mitrofanov and Petr, 1999). In Norway, hatchery-produced vedace fry was deliberately introduced in a number of lakes between 1860 and 1900. Of the 16 documented cases, only one succeeded (Sandlund et al., in press (2012)). Although some of the introductions have been successful, probably most of them have failed.


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Central Russia Russian Federation 1932 Yes Deliberate, in Urals from Lake Ladoga
Kazakhstan Russian Federation 1970-1980 Yes Deliberate
Maine Germany 1880-1890 Yes Deliberate
Northern Russia Russian Federation  1927 Yes Deliberate
Norway Finland 1950-1960 Yes Deliberate
Norway 1860-1900 Aquaculture (pathway cause) Yes No Sandlund et al. (2012) Deliberate
Russian Federation Finland 1950-1960 Yes Deliberate

Risk of Introduction

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Vendace is a freshwater fish species. Although it can tolerate brackish water with a relatively low salinity, natural spread between different watercourses is typically limited by the high salinity of estuary waters. Dispersal downstream within a watercourse can be expected, even if the watercourse is regulated by dams. Upstream dispersal is limited by strong rapids and waterfalls. Spread through deliberate introductions has occurred through stocking plans, e.g. the stocking of vendace in Lake Inari and tributary waters. Sport fishers also sometimes use vendace as bait, and in the case of transport of live bait this may present a risk of introduction to non-native water systems. The risk of successful establishment is related to the receiving ecosystem. Vendace is a trophic specialist, and from the records it seems likely that the chance of establishment is higher in ecosystems similar to native ecosystems, and low in others.


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Vendace is typically found in open water habitats in lacustrine and estuarine environments, reflecting the zooplanktivorous foraging ecology. It may be expected to be found deeper during daytime than during night-time due to the diel vertical migrations (Gjelland et al., 2009). As it is a cold-water species, it typically avoids the epilimnion when temperatures exceed about 18-20°C.

Habitat List

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FreshwaterLakes Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterLakes Principal habitat Natural
FreshwaterReservoirs Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterReservoirs Principal habitat Natural
BrackishEstuaries Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Vendace has 40/80 haploid/diploid chromosomes. The genetic variation is wide, and separation between vendace C. albula and arctic cisco (C. sardinella) may be difficult. This may reflect extensive hybridization between the two species. Vendace has been observed to hybridize with European whitefish C. lavaretus (Kahilainen et al., 2011), arctic cisco (Goordeva et al., 2009), and possibly also other coregonid species (e.g. Mitrofanov and Petr, 1999). 

Reproductive Biology

Most vendace populations spawn in autumn on sand or gravel, usually in areas of 6-10 m depth, but winter and spring spawning populations also exist (Vuorinen et al., 1981). Vendace have high fecundity and many small eggs (80-300 egg per gram body mass). Eggs hatch around the time the lake ice disappears in spring. Due to the small egg size, the yolk sac has limited resources and vendace recruitment success may therefore be highly dependent on good timing between the hatching and the spring bloom.

In some lacustrine populations, mature vendace make spawning migrations and spawn in rivers (Sandlund, 1992). Anadromous vendace ascend a short distance up rivers in shoals in late August to mid-October and spawn in rivers later in autumn (Svetovidov, 1984). The newly hatched larvae drift to lacustrine areas shortly after hatching (Næsje et al., 1986). Typically, length of the larvae at hatching is 7-11 mm. Vendace mature at 2-5 years of age, at lengths 9-20 cm.  

Physiology and Phenology

Vendace undertake shoaling and diel vertical migrations (Gjelland et al., 2009), behaviours typically associated with predator avoidance. However, it is more risk-prone than the congeneric European whitefish C. lavaretus, which often live in sympatry with vendace. Compared to whitefish, vendace life history may be characterized as opportunistic. Vendace has much smaller eggs, higher fecundity, and lower survival time than whitefish.


Typically 5-6 years, reaching 8 for older individuals. Individuals in some large-grown populations may reach 15 years (Sandlund et al., 1991; Reshetnikov, 2003).

Activity Patterns

Vendace form shoals during daylight and perfom diel vertical migrations both during summer and winter months (Mehner et al., 2007; Jurvelius and Marjomäki, 2008; Gjelland et al., 2009). River-spawning populations make seasonal reproductive migrations from pelagic feeding grounds to riverine spawning grounds (Sandlund, 1992).

For the first month or two after hatching in spring, larvae and juveniles may be found in littoral zones (Næsje et al., 1986; Auvinen, 1988; Sarvala et al., 1988). Thereafter, it takes on a pelagic habitat use. During daytime it descends to larger depths than the depth utilized during night-time. It also form shoals during daytime.

Population Size and Density:

Vendace often have large population size fluctuations, and may also depend on the presence of other planktivores. Consequently, vendace densities ranging from <100 individuals ha-1 to 5000 individuals ha-1 have been reported (e.g. Mehner and Schultz, 2002; Jurvelius et al., 2005; Jensen et al., 2008). In many lakes, the vendace populations have cycling fluctuations in population density, suggesting that intraspecific competition may be an important driver for vendace demography (Sandlund, 1992).


Vendace is characterized as a specialized planktivore (Svärdson, 1976; Anderson et al., 2007), and zooplankton typically make up 75-100% of total food intake. In lakes with both small and large forms, the larger form may be partly piscivorous (Reshetnikov and Lukin, 2006) and fish can make up 20-74% of the diet. Piscivory has also been observed in small-grown vendace, but this is regarded as rather unusual (Liso et al., 2011).

Natural Food Sources

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Food SourceFood Source DatasheetLife StageContribution to Total Food Intake (%)Details
Fish Aquatic|Adult 20-74
Zooplankton (planktonic crustaceans) All Stages 75-100


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C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 0 9

Water Tolerances

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ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Dissolved oxygen (mg/l) 3.2 Optimum Lower tolerance for egg and larval development (Czerkies et al., 2002)
Salinity (part per thousand) 5 Optimum <5 ppm preferred.
Water pH (pH) 4.55 Optimum High Al-levels may increase mortality at low pH (Vuorinen et al., 2003)
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 9 Optimum Temperature preference from Ohlberger et al. 2008. The realised temperature preference may deviate heavily from this, depending on food availability and available temperatures. Tolerates 0-22 °C

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Natural enemies of vendace are piscivorous fish, birds and mammals, typically those that are foraging in pelagic areas such as brown trout (Salmo trutta), loons (Gavidae) and cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). Brown trout are an important predator on vendace (Jensen et al., 2008; Gjelland et al., 2009).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

Eggs and larvae follow currents and drift downstream in rivers.

Accidental Introduction

Vendace larvae and juveniles could accidentally occur within samples of other fish fry if these are intentionally transported between water bodies.

Intentional Introduction

Intentional introductions are the common way of vendace being introduced to new lake systems. These introductions have often been government initiated, aiming at increasing fisheries and aquaculture resources. Some intentional introductions have been for mosquito control; these have not been successful. Some sport fishers use vendace as bait; if they carry live vendace between waterbodies this may also pose a risk of introduction.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Aquaculture Yes Yes
Biological control Yes
Hunting, angling, sport or racing Yes
Intentional release Yes
Interbasin transfers Yes
Stocking Yes Yes

Economic Impact

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Economic impacts of vendace invasions have not been quantified. Vendace may have a positive economic value as a fishery resource by itself, and by sustaining piscivorous fish populations that are economically valuable for sport fishing (e.g. brown trout). But vendace could also potentially have a negative impact on the economic outcome of fisheries for other species that could be negatively affected by the vendace invasion, e.g. planktivorous whitefish populations.

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats.

Being an effective zooplanktivore, vendace may heavily reduce the zooplankton stock, in turn leading to reduced algal grazing by zooplankton (trophic cascade). This may aid eutrophication of the lake. However, vendace are sensitive to eutrophication, and the potential eutrophication effect from vendace zooplankton grazing is therefore limited.

Impact on Biodiversity

Vendace have been observed to reduce zooplankton diversity, resulting in smaller zooplankton species and smaller sizes of individual zooplankters (Bøhn and Amundsen,1998; Amundsen et al., 2009). They have also led to large reductions in densities of native planktivorous Coregonus lavaretus (Bøhn and Amundsen, 2001; Gjelland et al., 2007; Bøhn et al., 2008).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Daphnia longispinaNo detailsNorwayPredationAmundsen et al. (2009)

Social Impact

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Except for effects related to fisheries and sport fishing, where employment can be created in rural areas, there are no obvious social impacts of vendace invasions.

Risk and Impact Factors

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  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
  • Conflict
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Hybridization
  • Predation
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control


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Economic Value

Vendace fishery is important, especially in Finland, Poland and Sweden. Yearly catches are about 5000 tons in Finland, 1500 tons in Sweden, and 200 tons in Poland (FAO, 2011). Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and Norway report catches typically below 10 tons (FAO, 2011). Vendace fishery also has some importance in western parts of Russia, but the catches are not separated from the total of approx. 10,000-15,000 tons of coregonid catches reported to FAO. Vendace production is also enhanced with stocking programs in some countries (Mehner et al., 2009). Vendace roe are very tasty, and the Kalix roe from vendace caught in the Swedish part of the Bothnian Bay have a high market price.

Social Benefit

Fisheries for vendace create employment, which may be of particular importance in rural areas (Salonen and Mutenia, 2004). Vendace are excellent forage fish for popular sport fish species like brown trout (Salmo trutta), and may therefore indirectly benefit sport fishing. In turn, this may increase the value of recreational fishing as well as the economic value related to fishing tourism.

Environmental Services

Vendace are important prey for piscivorous fish and waterfowl, and may be important in energy transport from pelagic production to littoral or stream habitats (migratory fish piscivores), or from lake systems to terrestrial systems (mediated by psicivorous birds). Where anadromous vendace populations are found (Bothnian Bay and Gulf of Finland), vendace may also be a vector of energy (and nitrogen) transport from the sea and back to the limnic systems.

Uses List

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  • Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)

Human food and beverage

  • Meat/fat/offal/blood/bone (whole, cut, fresh, frozen, canned, cured, processed or smoked)


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Genetic screening is the most common technique for molecular diagnosis of vendace.

Detection and Inspection

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Detection of vendace in the field may be done by fishing with pelagic gillnets, or by stomach content analyses of piscivorous fishes and birds such as brown trout and cormorants. First species identification may be performed by use of fish handbooks (e.g. Miller and Loates, 1997; Greenhalgh and Carter, 2001; Maitland and Linsell, 2006), but in the case of potential introductions a specialist should be consulted for final species assessment. The recent “Handbook of European freshwater fishes” (Kottelat and Freihof, 2007) is a comprehensive book containing species identification keys for freshwater fishes in Europe, but the validity of the key for coregonids has recently been questioned (Etheridge et al., 2012). Moreover, the complexity of phenotypic and genotypic variation within the coregonids poses a challenge to the coregonid nomenclature.

In the intersection region of the geographic distribution of C. albula and C. sardinella, between the Ural mountains, Lake Onega and the White Sea, distinguishing between the two species may be unclear (Bodaly et al., 1991; Goordeva et al., 2009).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Some larger lakes have two different forms of vendace, with a small planktivorous form and a larger form that may exceed 40 cm length and include fish in its diet (Reshetnikov and Lukin, 2006; Gordeeva et al., 2009). It may be very difficult to distinguish between vendace and arctic cisco (C. sardinella), even with genetic markers (Bodaly et al., 1991; Gordeeva et al., 2009). Coregonid taxonomy is in general often controversial at the species and subspecies level, since both polymorphy and hybridizations seem common within many of the coregonid lineages.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.


SPS measures

Translocation of C. albula between hydrosystems should be prohibited.

Early warning systems

Zooplankton resources are rapidly depleted following vendace invasions. Zooplankton monitoring may serve as a good indicator and early warning system.

Rapid response

Targeted fishing of C. albula may be difficult, but possible, especially on the spawning grounds.

Public awareness

The public should in general be encouraged to strive for maintaining the native biodiversity, including zooplankton species that are important for ecosystem functioning. These may be difficult to recognize for lay persons, since they cannot be seen without appropriate magnification.


The only potentially useful eradication method of established vendace populations would be rotenone treatment, which would also kill off all other fish in the lake. This would demand that species of interest were kept in laboratory facilities or in nearby lakes, and re-introduced after treatment. Rotenonone is also poisonous to insects. Use of rotenone will in any cases have dramatic effects on local biodiversity, including potential reductions in genetic diversity of “rescued” fish species. Rotenone treatment is therefore a very dramatic and controversial measure, and it is also unlikely to have success in large and /or complex lake systems.

Vendace is a cold-water species naturally occurring in oligotrophic and mesotrophic lake systems, and it is sensitive to eutrophication. Eradication of vendace could potentially happen as a side effect of anthropogenic activity, such as climate warming and eutrophication. These stressors are in any case likely to have a strong influence on ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.


Movement control

For river-spawning stocks and/or anadromous stocks, a potential measure could be to hamper spawning migrations.

Biological control

Biological control of vendace could be stimulated by predator enhancement or predator stocking programs. The success of such measures depends on lake morphology and the community of piscivores (K. Ø. Gjelland, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, in prep).

Chemical control

Rotenone treatment at spawning sites is a potential, but controversial measure.

Control by utilization

Vendace is a tasty and in some markets valuable fish, and population size control can occur through heavy commercial fishing, e.g. by trawling in lakes and estuaries, or by fishing on spawning populations during spawning migration.

Monitoring and Surveillance

Vendace is a pelagic fish that shoals during daytime, and also descends towards greater water depth during daytime. The population is more dispersed during night-time, and sampling should therefore be performed during night-time in order to reduce sample variance. Monitoring should include use of scientific echo-sounding combined with non-selective fishing methods (multimesh gillnets, trawling, or purse seining) in order to obtain species information and biological samples.


The invasive effects of vendace are mediated through the reductions in the zooplankton community. The best mitigation measures are therefore various way of controlling vendace population size (e.g. targeted fishing, enhancement of predators on vendace).

Ecostystem Restoration

Vendace is an effective zooplanktivore, and its main impact is through reductions in zooplankton density and individual zooplankton sizes. This could potentially enhance phytoplankton densities and facilitate a eutrophication process (trophic cascade), but the most important impact is probably the severely reduced zooplankton resource for competing native species. Control of the vendace population size is therefore the most important measure for ecosystem restoration.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Vendace have been introduced to many lake systems, but the consequences for the receiving lake ecosystems are generally poorly investigated other than for the invasion of vendace into the Pasvik watercourse.


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Amundsen PA; Salonen E; Niva T; Gjelland KO; Præbel K; Sandlund OT; Knudsen R; Bøhn T, 2012. Invader population speeds up life history during colonization. Biological Invasions, 14:1501-1513.

Amundsen PA; Siwertsson A; Primicerio R; Bøhn T, 2009. Long-term responses of zooplankton to invasion by a planktivorous fish in a subarctic watercourse. Freshwater Biology, 54(1):24-34.

Amundsen PA; Staldvik FJ; Reshetnikov YS; Kashulin N; Lukin A; Bøhn T; Sandlund OT; Popova OA, 1999. Invasion of vendace Coregonus albula in a subarctic watercourse. Biological Conservation, 88(3):405-413.

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Bøhn T; Sandlund OT; Amundsen PA; Primicerio R, 2004. Rapidly changing life history during invasion. Oikos, 106(1):138-150.

Czerkies P; Kordalski K; Golas T; Krysinski D; Luczynski M, 2002. Oxygen requirements of whitefish and vendace (Coregoninae) embryos at final stages of their development. Aquaculture, 211(1/4):375-385.

Czerniejewski P; Wawrzyniak W, 2006. Management of vendace (Coregonus albula (L.)) in the lakes of northwest Poland in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Archives of Polish Fisheries, 14(1):105-121.

Etheridge EC; Adams CE; Bean CW; Durie NC; Gowans ARD; Harrod C; Lyle AA; Maitland PS; Winfield IJ, 2012. Are phenotypic traits useful for differentiating among a priori Coregonus taxa? Journal of Fish Biology, 80(2):387-407.

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Hanel R; Karjalainen J; Wieser W, 1996. Growth of swimming muscles and its metabolic cost in larvae of whitefish at different temperatures. Journal of Fish Biology, 48(5):937-951.

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Kahilainen KK; Ostbye K; Harrod C; Shikano T; Malinen T; Merila J, 2011. Species introduction promotes hybridization and introgression in Coregonus: is there sign of selection against hybrids? Molecular Ecology, 20(18):3838-3855.

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Kottelat M; Freyhof J, 2008. Coregonus albula. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

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Liso S; Gjelland KØ; Reshetnikov YS; Amundsen PA, 2011. A planktivorous specialist turns rapacious: piscivory in invading vendace Coregonus albula. Journal of Fish Biology, 78(1):332-337.

Lusk S; Lusková V; Hanel L, 2010. Alien fish species in the Czech Republic and their impact on the native fish fauna. Folia Zoologica, 59(1):57-72.

Maitland PS; Linsell K, 2006. Philip's guide to freshwater fish of Britain and Europe. London, UK: Philip's, 272 pp.

Mehner T; Kasprzak P; Hölker F, 2007. Exploring ultimate hypotheses to predict diel vertical migrations in coregonid fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 64(6):874-886.

Mehner T; Pohlmann K; Elkin C; Monaghan MT; Freyhof J, 2009. Genetic mixing from enhancement stocking in commercially exploited vendace populations. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46(6):1340-1349.

Mehner T; Schulz M, 2002. Monthly variability of hydroacoustic fish stock estimates in a deep lake and its correlation to gillnet catches. Journal of Fish Biology, 61(5):1109-1121.

Mikhov S, 2000. Checklist of fishes of Bulgaria. FishBase checklist modified by Stoyan Mikhov.

Miller PJ; Loates MJ, 1997. Fish of Britain and Europe. London, UK: Collins Pocket Guide, 288 pp.

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Mutenia A; Salonen E, 1992. The vendace (Coregonus albula L.), a new species in the fish community and fisheries of Lake Inari. Polish Archives of Hydrobiology, 39(3-4):797-805.

Muus BJ; Dahlstrøm P, 1990. Europas ferskvandsfisk. København, Denmark: GEC Gads Forlag, 224 pp.

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Næsje TF; Sandlund OT; Jonsson B, 1986. Habitat use and growth of age-0 whitefish, Coregonus lavaretus, and cisco, C. albula. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 15(4):309-314.

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Reshetnikov YS, 1980. Ecology and Systematics of Coregonids. Moscow, Russia: Nauka.

Reshetnikov YS, 2003. Coregonus albula. In: Atlas of Russian Freshwater Fishes, Volume 1, 1. Moscow, Russia: Nauka, 135-137.

Reshetnikov YS; Bogutskaya NG; Vasil’eva ED; Dorofeeva EA; Naseka AM; Popova OA; Savvaitova KA; Sideleva VG; Sokolov LI, 1997. An annotated check-list of the freshwater fishes of Russia. Journal of Ichthyology, 37:687-736.

Salonen E; Mutenia A, 2004. The commercial coregonid fishery in northernmost Finland - a review. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 41(1):351-355.

Sandlund OT, 1992. Differences in the ecology of two vendace populations separated in 1895. Nordic Journal of Freshwater Research, 67:52-60.

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Sandlund OT; Jonsson B; Næsje TF; Aass P, 1991. Year-class fluctuations in vendace, Coregonus albula (Linnaeus): Who's got the upper hand in intraspecific competition? Journal of Fish Biology, 38:873-885.

Sarvala J; Rahasilta M; Hangelin C; Hirvonen A; Kiiskila M; Saarikari V, 1988. Spring abundance, growth and food of 0+ vendace (Coregonus albula L.) and whitefish (C. lavaretus L.) in Lake Pyhäjärvi, SW Finland. Finnish Fisheries Research, 9:221-233.

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Distribution References

Amundsen PA, Staldvik FJ, Reshetnikov YS, Kashulin N, Lukin A, Bøhn T, Sandlund OT, Popova OA, 1999. Invasion of vendace Coregonus albula in a subarctic watercourse. In: Biological Conservation, 88 (3) 405-413.

Bartley D M, 2006. Introduced species in fisheries and aquaculture: information for responsible use and control. In: Introduced species in fisheries and aquaculture: information for responsible use and control, Rome, Italy: FAO.

Blanc M, Gaudet J-L, Banarescu P, Hureau J-C, 1971. European inland water fish. A multilingual catalogue. London, UK: Fishing News (Books) Ltd.

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Czerniejewski P, Wawrzyniak W, 2006. Management of vendace (Coregonus albula (L.)) in the lakes of northwest Poland in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In: Archives of Polish Fisheries, 14 (1) 105-121.

Etheridge EC, Adams CE, Bean CW, Durie NC, Gowans ARD, Harrod C, Lyle AA, Maitland PS, Winfield IJ, 2012. Are phenotypic traits useful for differentiating among a priori Coregonus taxa? In: Journal of Fish Biology, 80 (2) 387-407.

FAO-DIAS, 2012. Database on introductions of aquatic species. In: FAO Fisheries Global Information System. Database on introductions of aquatic species, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO.

Froese R, Pauly D, 2004. FishBase.

Fuller P, Nico L, 2012. (Coregonus albula). In: USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, USA: USGS.

Hanel L, 2003. Annotated overview of fish and lamprey in the Czech Republic. (Komentovaný prehled mihulí a ryb ceské republiky). In: Bulletin Lampetra, 5 27-67.

Holcik J, 1991. Fish introduced in Europe with particular reference to its central and eastern part. Aquat. Sci. 48 (Suppl. 1), 13-23.

Kottelat M, Freyhof J, 2007. Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes. Cornol, Switzerland: Publications Kottelat. xiii + 646 pp.

Kottelat M, Freyhof J, 2008. Coregonus albula. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2., Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

Lelek A, 1987. The freshwater fishes of Europe, Vol. 9. Threatened fishes of Europe. Wiesbaden, Germany: AULA-Verlag.

Lusk S, Lusková V, Hanel L, 2010. Alien fish species in the Czech Republic and their impact on the native fish fauna. Folia Zoologica. 59 (1), 57-72.

Mikhov S, 2000. Checklist of fishes of Bulgaria. FishBase checklist modified by Stoyan Mikhov.,

Mitrofanov VP, Petr T, 1999. Fish and fisheries in the Altai, Northern Tien Shan and Lake Balkhash (Kazakhstan). In: Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes: Asia. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 385, [ed. by Petr T]. Rome, FAO. 149-167.

Mutenia A, Salonen E, 1992. The vendace (Coregonus albula L.), a new species in the fish community and fisheries of Lake Inari. In: Polish Archives of Hydrobiology, 39 (3-4) 797-805.

Muus B J, Dahlstrøm P, 1990. Europas ferskvandsfisk. København, Denmark: GEC Gads Forlag. 224 pp.

Reshetnikov YS, 1980. Ecology and Systematics of Coregonids., Moscow, Russia: Nauka.

Reshetnikov YS, 2003. (Coregonus albula). In: Atlas of Russian Freshwater Fishes, 1 (1) Moscow, Russia: Nauka. 135-137.

Reshetnikov YS, Bogutskaya NG, Vasil'eva ED, Dorofeeva EA, Naseka AM, Popova OA, Savvaitova KA, Sideleva VG, Sokolov LI, 1997. An annotated check-list of the freshwater fishes of Russia. In: Journal of Ichthyology, 37 687-736.

Sandlund OT, 1992. Differences in the ecology of two vendace populations separated in 1895. In: Nordic Journal of Freshwater Research, 67 52-60.

Seebens H, Blackburn T M, Dyer E E, Genovesi P, Hulme P E, Jeschke J M, Pagad S, Pyšek P, Winter M, Arianoutsou M, Bacher S, Blasius B, Brundu G, Capinha C, Celesti-Grapow L, Dawson W, Dullinger S, Fuentes N, Jäger H, Kartesz J, Kenis M, Kreft H, Kühn I, Lenzner B, Liebhold A, Mosena A (et al), 2017. No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications. 8 (2), 14435.

Svetovidov AN, 1984. Salmonidae. In: Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, 1 [ed. by Whitehead PJP, Bauchot ML, Hureau JC, Nielsen J, Tortonese E]. Paris, France: UNESCO.

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27/4/2012 Original text by:

Karl Øystein Gjelland, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway.

Reviewers' names are available on request.

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