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Maryland Minnow

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#1 rndouglas

  • NANFA Member
  • Maryland

Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:57 PM

Try as I might, I just can't get the hang of minnow ID.


I caught this individual in the upper Patuxent River in Maryland today. Habitat was a ~10 ft. by 4 ft. hole beneath a rootwad at the end of a riffle. Length was ~4", give or take a few fractions of an inch.


When I first caught it I thought, "Cool, Fallfish." Then when I got it in the photobox I started second guessing that ID. I've spent the past two hours going back and forth with this photo, my Peterson guide, and the internet and I'm no closer to an ID. This is the only angle I have of this fish.


I'd appreciate any pointers that help lead you to your ID. Right now, about the only minnow species in this river I feel comfortable IDing almost every time I catch them are the Common Shiners and Eastern Blacknose Dace.



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#2 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:21 PM

I can see the reason for confusion. To read the Peterson's description of its general appearance, I'd call it a Fallfish, too. But if you go further into the specifics listed in same Peterson's, it looks to have seven anal fin rays (though I stink at counting those) and the origin of the dorsal is behind the pelvic fins, so that's more River Chub. The body shape seems as much Nocomis as Semotilus to me. As for barbels, unless they're the size of a catfish's I can't ever see 'em.

Based on the fin positions I'd guess River Chub.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 rndouglas

  • NANFA Member
  • Maryland

Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:24 PM

You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you suggest River Chub. That's the species I was closest to calling this fish!

#4 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:45 PM

Good photo. Looks like a river chub to me as well. Or any other Nocomis as far as that goes.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#5 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:16 PM

If you really want to improve your ID skills, get Freshwater Fishes of VA by Jenkins & Burkhead -- MUCH better drawings, descriptions, photos, maps, and life history info than the Peterson Field Guide.  Nearly all of the MD species also occur in VA.

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

#6 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:40 PM

Good photo. Looks like a river chub to me as well. Or any other Nocomis as far as that goes.


Y'all are too fast for me... you know how I love to say... Nocomis!

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

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