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Juvenile Fallfish?

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  • NANFA Guest

Posted 18 July 2018 - 02:27 PM

Hi everyone,

  I caught a bunch of small (30-40 mm, so 1-1.5") juvenile fish here in central Massachusetts.  They were caught in two small streams the other day.  I am uploading four pictures- two from the side, one from the top, and one of a magnified image of the head (magnified by 50%).  These fish were in formalin for the past few days, so keep that in mind as you look at the images (unfortunately the color gets washed out). 

  According to the state Fish and Wildlife, it could be a Common shiner, Bridle shiner, Bluntnose minnow, Spottail shiner, Fallfish, Fathead minnow, or Creek chub.  I feel reasonably comfortable narrowing it down to a Fallfish, but I know some of these juvenile shiners/minnows can look very similar and don't always look like the adults, so I would appreciate someone else giving me their thoughts. 

  I caught some large adult Common shiners but no adult Fallfish along with these guys, so that always makes me doubt myself.  But the overall body shape plus the stripe along the body, tail shape, and mouth make me think it's a juvenile Fallfish.  Can anyone help me out and tell me their thoughts?



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#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 18 July 2018 - 05:52 PM

That is a different ballgame, looking at preserved specimens. I think Brian Zimmerman could help you out. smbass444@yahoo.com  He looks at plenty of dead fish in jars, as does Marc Kibbey. kibbey.3@osu.edu  Hope this helps.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#3 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:53 PM

I don't see any obvious feature that makes it NOT a fallfish, and t me it looks more like a fallfish than any of the other possible minnows listed.  Creek chub usually has a more pronounced gradation in scale size (small scales toward head; larger toward caudal) whereas this fish has relatively uniform scale size.

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

#4 ariggsy1976

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 23 July 2018 - 10:47 AM

That strongly decurved lateral line is making me think Golden Shiner.

#5 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 23 July 2018 - 06:21 PM

Hmm. The fourth fish looks like it has that slightly upturned mouth that golden shiners have. The other two profiles seem to have a slightly sub terminal mouth. The lateral line does swoop, but it seems less drastic than GS. :fishy: .

The member formerly known as Skipjack


  • NANFA Guest

Posted 27 July 2018 - 01:01 PM

Hi all,

  Thanks for the input!  I was able to catch a couple of live ones and can confirm that they were fallfish!  Thanks to everyone who offered their input!

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