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Kentucky trip and fish ID

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#1 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 10 October 2016 - 01:08 PM

Spent a few hours this past weekend dipnetting a small stream here in western KY. This stream enters the Ohio River a few miles from here and passes through some urbanized areas and more naturalized areas too. Water level was quite low and fish were bunched up in places. First pool I visited was small but loaded with darters and a few other minnows.
Rainbow darters (correct me if I'm wrong) by the dozens
Also ?emerald shiner and bluntnose minnow


Next area was just upstream in a vegetated pool, lots of algae growth and low flow right now.
Lots of diversity here.
Longear sunfish
?golden redhorse
Blackstripe topminnow
Western mosquitofish-probably the most common fish in this stream
Largemouth bass
Shiner not sure what type ?blacktail
Minnow not sure on this either but very abundant

I then drove a couple miles upstream near the headwaters. This area occasionally dries up completely aside from a few pools which I sampled. Some typical headwater species from what I've read.

Creek chub- saw some fairly large ones in spite of really shallow conditions
Green sunfish
Yellow bullhead
?blackstripe/Blackspotted topminnow hybrid
?Redfin shiner - has some black specks on it so I wondered about this. Not sure though

Feel free to chime in on the above as I am far from an expert and not sure on the ID of all of these. Every fish was immediately released except the warmouth who is going to find a home in a 60 gallon tank I am acquiring shortly. Right he is thinning out the gambusia in my patio pond quite nicely.

#2 BenCantrell

  • Moderator
  • San Diego, CA

Posted 10 October 2016 - 02:39 PM

The darter in the group shot in the lower right (it's head isn't in the photo) looks like it may be an orangethroat.  The rest are rainbows.


?emerald shiner = female redfin shiner


?golden redhorse = stoneroller sp. (central or largescale)


?blacktail = stoneroller sp.


Minnow not sure on this either but very abundant = stoneroller sp.


?Redfin shiner = golden shiner


Nice photos!

#3 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 10 October 2016 - 03:05 PM

I would agree with Ben on everything, including the ID quality photos.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#4 Casper

  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 10 October 2016 - 04:58 PM

Nice activity and pictures.  Looks like a stream and inhabitants here in my backyard.  This is an ideal time to get out.  Fish condensed, cool weather, before the leaves get to thick in the seine.  Glad you got out.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#5 smilingfrog

  • NANFA Member
  • Minnesota

Posted 12 October 2016 - 12:02 AM

I see a little bit of red in the anal fin on that fish.  It's actually most visible in it's reflection.  That would make it a rainbow too wouldn't it?

The darter in the group shot in the lower right (it's head isn't in the photo) looks like it may be an orangethroat.  The rest are rainbows.

#6 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 12 October 2016 - 09:51 AM

RE golden shiner (the one you thought was redfin shiner) - note the falcate anal fin shape, small mouth, and flatter body than other shiners.

RE redfin shiner (the one you thought was emerald shiner) - note the small crowded scales between the head and dorsal fin, and dark pigment where the first dorsal ray joins the body.  Those are characteristics of the Lythrurus shiner genus (redfin, rosefin, scarlet, mountain, etc).

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#7 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 12 October 2016 - 02:00 PM

Good stuff folks. Appreciate the input.

Regarding the darters, I was thinking I read somewhere that orangethroats didn't coexist much with rainbows very often but I will keep an eye out for them next time I visit this creek.

Thanks to all.

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