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Redside Dace

Redside Dace
   Photo: Erling Holm / İROM

Features: The Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongatus) has an unusually large mouth for a minnow. Adults are silvery with red sides and a purple sheen, especially in males. They grow to about 11 cm long. Their large mouth probably helps them feed, as they catch insects flying just above the water surface by leaping out of the water. Their preferred habitat is clear, cool streams with a rubble and gravel bottom and a mixture of pool and riffle habitats. Redside Dace breed in riffles and shallow, flowing pools, usually in the nests of Creek Chub or Common Shiner.

Status: Endangered Provincially and Nationally

Range: The Redside Dace has a patchy distribution around the Great Lakes Basin. It is found west to Minnesota, south to Kentucky and West Virginia, and east to New York State. In Canada, it is only found in southern Ontario streams that flow into lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron.

Threats: The main threats are habitat alteration and the introduction of non-native fishes that prey on, or compete with, the Redside Dace. Detrimental habitat alterations include siltation of streams due to erosion, the clearing of streamside vegetation that provides food and cover, changes in water quality and quantity, and the elimination of pools by flash flooding in urban and some agricultural streams. Several populations are in areas that are expected to undergo urban development in the near future.

Protection: The species has the general protection given by habitat sections of the Federal Fisheries Act. In Ontario, it is protected under the Ontario Fishery Regulations and the Endangered Species Act, 2007. The restoration of plants and shrubs on stream banks has been suggested as a recovery strategy for this species, and a draft recovery strategy has been prepared to outline the actions required to protect and restore Redside Dace and its habitat.

Text Sources: COSEWIC 2007; Parker et al. 1988

Last Modified Date: August 2009

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