Pimephales promelas

Identification Tips:

• First (front) ray of dorsal fin is half the length of other rays and not closely bound to 2nd ray.
• Dorsal fin: 8 soft rays
• Anal fin: 7 soft rays
• Males have larger heads and more robust body form than females
• Head turns black with scattered hard, white tubercles in spawning males.

• Females are commonly confused with Brassy Minnows - which have fewer, larger scales.

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Introduced SpeciesNot AssessedNoneG5

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/

Life History:

• Introduced species
• Forms schools
• Feeds on detritus and algae, insects, small crustaceans, and other invertebrates
• Eggs are laid on underside of object in quiet water in spring or summer
• Eggs guarded by male,
• Sexually mature in 2nd year
• Most adults die after spawning.


• Inhabits headwaters, creeks and small rivers , ponds and lakes.
• Usually over soft bottom and among thick aquatic vegetation
• Tolerates high turbidity, high water temperatures, and extremely low dissolved oxygen levels.


British Columbia
• Sporadically distributed in Fraser Valley, primarily in south Langley and Surrey

• Native and common throughout much of North America, from Alberta and Northwest Territories to Quebec and New Brunswick, south to Alabama, Texas, northern Mexico and New Mexico
• Introduced in Arizona and New Mexico, Alabama, and elsewhere, through use as bait fish
• Generally absent from mountainous areas

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.