Common name: Bluntnose Minnow
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).
Size: 11 cm.
Native Range: Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec to southern Manitoba, and south to Louisiana; Atlantic Slope from St. Lawrence River, Quebec, to Roanoke River, Virginia (absent from most of New England); Gulf Slope from Mobile Bay drainage, Alabama, to Mississippi River (Page and Burr 1991).
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pimephales notatus are found here.
Table last updated 12/9/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: This species has been transplanted commonly by bait bucket release and sometimes stocked as a forage fish or introduced by way of stock contamination. As indicated by Whitworth (1996), Pimephales notatus was introduced to a small stream in the Housatonic River drainage and that population was probably the source for other populations that have become established in other sites in the Housatonic drainage. Walters (1997) noted that the occurrence of this species in the middle section of the Conasauga River, Georgia, during the 1980s was probably the result of bait bucket introduction. Probably a bait bucket release in Massachusetts, it was first found in the Housatonic in 1979 and first noticed in Quabbin Reservoir in the early 1980s (Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 1996). Trautman (1981) reported that, in addition to being propagated by bait dealers, Pimephales notatus was propagated and stocked throughout Ohio after 1925 by the state conservation department. He added that millions were seined annually from Ohio streams and sold and used as bait. Sigler and Sigler (1987) noted that it was introduced to Williard Bay Reservoir, Utah in 1982, but they did not provide additional details. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) provided details on introductions, and possible introductions, for drainages associated with the state of Virginia. The presence of Pimephales notatus in the Potomac River drainage probably resulted from stockings, naturalization, and rapid spread. The first known record for the Potomac River drainage was from a Shenandoah River tributary in 1897. It was common to abundant in the lower Potomac by the early 1900s. Jenkins and Burkhead noted that it may have been used as forage in bass and sunfish culture ponds operated in Washington, D.C. by the former U.S. Fish Commission, and the species may have been disseminated with centrarchids. The first known record for the Rappahannock drainage was from 1972. In the James River, the fish was collected above the Blue Ridge in 1928; it may have been introduced with shipments of centrarchids and subsequently dispersed downstream. The first known record from the Roanoke came in 1947, the first from the Dan system (Roanoke drainage) in 1951. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) interpreted the distribution pattern in the Roanoke proper and Dan systems of the Roanoke drainage to be the result of at least two introductions.
Status: Established in nonnative areas in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia; reported from Utah.
Impact of Introduction: Largely unknown. Based on 1989 shorefish samples, Hartel et al. (1996) found it to be the most common minnow in Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts. Possibly in reference to native populations, Trautman (1981) noted that the species hybridizes with Pimephales promelas and P. vigilax.
References: (click for full references)
Burkhead, N.M., S.J. Walsh, B.J. Freeman, and J.D. Williams. 1997. Status and restoration of the Etowah River, an imperiled southern Appalachian ecosystem, p 375-444, In: G.W. Benz and D.E. Collins (eds). Aquatic Fauna in Perile: The Southeastern Perspective. Special Publication 1, Southeast Aquatic Research Institute, Lenz Design & Communications, Decatur, Ga.
Hartel, K.E., D.B. Halliwell, and A.E. Launer. 1996. An Annotated Working List of the Inland Fishes of Massachusetts. http://www.mcz.harvard.edu/fish/ma_fam.htm.
Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. In C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. 161-212.
Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.
Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.
Trautman, M.B. 1981. The Fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press Columbus, OH.
Whittier, T.R., D.B. Halliwell and R.A. Daniels. 2000. Distributions of lake fishes in the Northeast - II. The Minnows (Cyprinidae). Northeastern Naturalist. 7(2): 3- 131-156.
Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 1/20/2012
Peer Review Date: 1/20/2012
Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson, 2023, Pimephales notatus (Rafinesque, 1820): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=620, Revision Date: 1/20/2012, Peer Review Date: 1/20/2012, Access Date: 12/9/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.