Vendace

FullSizeRender-9The Lake District in Cumbria is one of the most unspoilt areas of England. Though hugely popular with tourists, there are secluded spots where even on a sunny bank holiday, you can feel as though you are the only person on earth.

The largely glacial lakes have long been popular with anglers, with trout, charr and pike all growing to specimen proportions. Such is the unique geology of the area, that the ecology also holds a few surprises. And in Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water lives a fish that swims nowhere else (aside that is, from Loch Skene in Scotland where reintroductions are ongoing (and Castle Loch and Mill Loch where it is likely—but not definitely—extinct)).

The vendace (Coregonus vandesius) is a relative of (or some argue the same species) Coregonus albula, which is also known as the vendace and is widespread through Russia and northern Europe, and the powan (Coregonus clupeoides) which occurs in Loch Lomond and Loch Eck in Scotland.

Oh, and then there’s the schelly (Coregonus stigmaticus) which occurs elsewhere in the Lake District and the gwyniad (Coregonus pennantii) which lives only in Lake Bala in Wales……

And just to compound Fishpool’s sudden, thumping headache, all of the above are related to/subspecies of/the same bloody fish as Coregonus lavaretus – a whitefish found in France and Switzerland, which may or may not be a ‘superspecies’ of which some or all of the species mentioned are isolated populations of…

Fishpool really, really, needs a lie down…

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