The three main types of freshwater whitefish are the genera coregonus, prosopium and stenodus. All whitefish are members of the family coregoninae and are a subfamily of salmonidae. They are closely related to salmon, with a milder flavor but similar fatty flesh.
The largest genus of freshwater whitefish is coregonus, which includes over 60 species of whitefish and ciscoes that are commonly fished in North American waters. Though they are primarily considered freshwater whitefish, some species from the genus coregonus are able to move between freshwater and saltwater to no ill effect. Many of the Great Lakes and Alpine whitefish species are either freshly extinct or endangered as of 2014.