Blacknose Dace, Rhinichthys atratulus
The blacknose dace is a small minnow averaging 2.5 inches.It has a continuous dark lateral stripe, which extends past the eye and around the snout.The body above the lateral line varies in colour from dark brown to olive.Below thelateral stripe the body becomes lighter to a white belly.The mouth is inferior and thesnout is short extending slightly over the mouth.Premaxillaries not protractile (i.e., no groove across snout in midline). Fins are generally a pale yellow in colour and the caudal fin forked.The lateral line is complete with 56 - 70 scales along its length.
The blacknose dace is common in cool, clear, gravel bottom rivers and streams,however it can survive in slow moving or stagnant waters.Aquatic invertebrates are thefood preference for the blacknose dace.Prey items often include midge and mayfly larvae, chironomids, and small crustaceans.Spawning takes place in the spring typically May - June over shallow, gravel riffles.During the breeding seasons the pectoral fins and sides ofmales becomes an orange-red. The males also develop nuptial tubercles on their head, fins,and body.The blacknose dace may serve as an important forage fish for many larger fisheating species such as brook, brown, and rainbow trout, as well as smallmouth bass.Other predators include fish eating birds like the merganser and blue heron.