I didnt expect to need any help with this ID, but as always...I do.
I caught this Pickerel saturday on a micro hook at the Basher Kill (Delaware River watershed), it was at the tail end of the marsh where it was really more like a river, there was no vegetation all over the surface of the water like in the actual Marsh. It's about 4 inches long.
I put it in the ID tank, saw red on the fins, and was certain I caught a Redfin. I did a fist pump celebration and everything bros.
I brought the fish home to my Pop's 90 gallon fish tank, was pretty devastated to find out it perished in the tank overnight. Was really looking forward to observing it in the tank. I went over there to check out how it looked after death, then noticed the line through the eye was not slanted backward like it should be if it's a Redfin, it was slanted forward if anything. I have the fish here with me but of course I can't just do a simple fin ray count which I now know how to do...I have to do a branchiostegal ray count. Which is not happening, I can barely see them and I lost my magnifying glass.
I'm hoping someone here may be able to tell by looking at these pics. I know the snout should also tell the story, but I'm confused about what constitutes as the posterior edge of the gill cover. I found old threads on this site about Redfin/Chain juveniles, and it really just left me more confused lol. Why can't a Pickerel with red on the fin just simply be a Redfin Pickerel? Can never just be easy.
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