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Blacknose Dace (Rhynichthus atratulus)

Blacknose DaceNH Conservation Status: Not listed


State Rank: Secure


Distribution: Blacknose dace inhabit Atlantic slope drainages from South Carolina north to the St.Lawrence River and Nova Scotia. They are found in all major watersheds of New Hampshire, although they are less common in the coastal watersheds.


Description:Blacknose dace are a small minnow species with a black lateral band which extends from a slightly pointed snout to the base of the tail. The snout is less pronounced than that of the longnose dace. The scales are very small. Coloration is dark gray, sometimes with mottle spots, above the lateral band and light gray to silver below. Breeding males turn reddish in color.


Blacknose dace

This blacknose dace was captured during an electrofishing survey for brook trout. Note the very small scales, which give it a smooth appearance.


Species commonly confused with: Longnose dace


Habitat: Blacknose dace are found in rocky streams and rivers with moderate to swift current.


Life History:Less streamlined than their relative, the longnose dace, blacknose dace take advantage of small pools and slower flowing water along the margins of rivers and streams with swift current. They feed on a variety of invertebrates and algae. Often found associated with brook trout, their higher temperature tolerance gives them a wider distribution throughout New Hampshire. They are considered tolerant of pollution and habitat alteration. Blacknose dace may be found in both disturbed and undisturbed habitats.


Origin: Native


Conservation/Management:Although there are no specific conservation or management objectives for blacknose dace, the species will benefit from efforts to protect and restore brook trout habitat throughout the state.



  • Continue to collect baseline data on the distribution and status of blacknose dace and other freshwater fish species throughout New Hampshire.