Lacustrine and marine in open water. At sea, forages close to coast. Forms pelagic schools in deeper lakes. Spawns along shores, at 3-10 m depth, rarely to 22 m depth or just below surface. Feeds on planktonic crustaceans.
Europe: Baltic basin, lakes of upper Volga drainage, some lakes of White sea basin and North Sea basin east of Elbe drainage. Anadromous in Gulf of Finland and marine in northernmost freshened part of Gulf of Bothnia; north to about 69° N in Lake Inari, northern Finland. Frequently stocked in lakes and reservoirs in Germany and Poland.