Rhinichthys cataractae

Identification Tips:

• Long streamlined body, nearly round in cross-section, but slightly flattened on bottom; to 12 cm length
• Long snout, with mouth facing downward
• Upper lip is attached to the snout with a fleshy connector (frenum)
• Barbel at corners of mouth
• Fry have horizontal stripe full length of body

• Impossible to distinguish in the field between two forms found found in Fraser Valley Nooksack Dace (Endangered) and Columbia Longnose Dace

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Red ListEndangeredEndangeredG1, S1

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

Life History:

•Spawn in spring; males prepare a nest, court females and defend eggs until hatch
• Primarily nocturnal
• Feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates
• Fry feed on drifting zooplankton and are active by day


• Typically found among gravel cobble or boulder in fast flowing areas of rivers and streams
• Spawn under a rock near the upstream end of a riffle
• Will move into pools during low flow periods
•Fry occupy slower water, moving from pools at the stream edges to progressively faster water as they grow during their first summer


British Columbia
• Pure populations are known from just 4 streams in Canada, all in the Fraser Valley: Brunette Rive (Burnaby), Bertrand Creek, Pepin Creek, and Fishtrap Creek (Langley/Abbotsford)
• Admixed (historically hybridized) populations of Nooksack and Columbia Longnose dace occur in Coquitlam River, Alouette River, Kanaka Creek, the Chilliwack River and likely elsewhere

• Also found in streams on the east shore of Puget Sound and the west side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington

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