Extinct Fish in Canada

Of the 13 species, subspecies and isolated populations of freshwater fish that have become extinct in Canada, all but two are also extinct globally.

Only paddlefish and gravel chub, although no longer in Canada, can still be found in the United States.

The extinct fish from western Canada were each endemic to only one lake. Many of the extinct Ontario fish species once inhabited the Great Lakes, including the population of Atlantic salmon which spent its entire life cycle in Lake Ontario.

Extinct Canadian Fish
Common Name Scientific Name Gone From
Paddlefish Polyodon spathula Ontario
Gravel Chub Erimystax x-punctatus Ontario
Banff Longnose Dace Rhinichthys cataractae smithi Alberta
Deepwater Cisco Coregonus johannae Ontario
Blackfin Cisco Coregonus nigripinnis Ontario
Shortnose Cisco Coregonus reighardi Ontario
Dragon Lake Whitefish Coregonus (2 species) British Columbia
Atlantic Salmon - Lake Ontario Salmo salar pop. 2 Ontario
Hadley Lake Limnetic Stickleback Gasterosteus sp. 12 British Columbia
Hadley Lake Benthic Stickleback Gasterosteus sp. 13 British Columbia
Blue Walleye Sander vitreus glaucus Ontario
Lake Ontario Kiyi Coregonus kiyi orientalis Ontario

Provincial Losses of Fish Species

In addition to the national-level fish extinctions, Ontario and Quebec have each lost a species of fish. Both of these extirpated fish still survive in several other provinces.

Common Name Scientific Name Gone From
American Shad Alosa sapidissima Ontario
Striped Bass Morone saxatilis Quebec
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