Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. www.wildlife.state.nh.us NH Fish and Game

 

 

Fallfish

Fallfish

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

 

State Rank: Secure

 

Scientific Name: Semotilus corporalis

 

Distribution: Fallfish range from eastern Canada south to Virginia, east of the Appalachian Mountains. Fallfish are common throughout New Hampshire.

 

Description: A thick bodied minnow with large, silver, metallic looking scales that overlap in half circles. The snout extends slightly beyond the upper lip. The mouth terminates at the front end of the eye, which is relatively large. There is a small barbell attached to the groove at the corner of the mouth, but it is absent or difficult to see in some individuals. Young fallfish appear to have a dark lateral band which can make them difficult to distinguish from other juvenile minnows. Common shiners, unlike fallfish, have diamond shaped scales which slough off easily and become crowded just behind the gills.

 

Species commonly confused with: Common shiner, creek chub

 

Habitat: Fallfish are a habitat generalist and can be found in nearly any freshwater habitat, though they are most abundant in rivers and streams with a mix of rocky and gravel substrates.

 

fallfish

The small rounded scales of the fallfish have a metallic appearance and do not rub off easily compared to the large diamond shaped scales of the common shiner.

 

fallfish

Life History: The fallfish is New Hampshire's largest native minnow species and one of the most common fish species in the state. It can grow to 18 inches in length and live for over 10 years. Fallfish males build nest mounds out of pebbles, one stone at a time. Spawning is communal, although usually initiated by the nest builder, with a number of females and surrounding males using a single nest. Larger individuals may move into smaller streams to spawn. Their abundance and wide distribution make fallfish an important source of forage for both aquatic and terrestrial predators.

 

Origin: Native

 

Conservation/Management: There are no specific conservation or management objectives for fallfish. As habitat degradation and climate change cause warmer average water temperatures in the rivers in streams of New Hampshire, fallfish may expand into habitat historically occupied by brook trout. One of the objectives of the NHFG Fish Conservation Program is to collect baseline fish community data for monitoring long term trends in the abundance and distribution of New Hampshire's freshwater fish species, which will reflect changes in aquatic habitat and water quality across the state.

 

Recommendations:

 

  • Continue to collect baseline data on the distribution and status of fallfish and other freshwater fish species throughout New Hampshire.
  • Set up stations for long term water temperature monitoring similar to the streamflow monitoring stations operated by the Unite States Geologic Survey (USGS)

 

Distribution Map: (under construction)