Common name: Fallfish
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Fallfish are one of the largest minnows native to North America. The body is moderately compressed with an olive to golden-brown color above the lateral line with a dark stripe along the back. The dorsal scales are darkly outlined on adults. The scales are silver on the side, with often a purple or blue sheen to them. Fallfish have a rounded snout with a large overhanging mouth. Lateral scale count between 43-50 with eight rays in both the dorsal and anal fins (Page and Burr 2011).
Fallfish are similar in appearance to the Creek Chubs (S. atromaculatus). Creek chubs have a black spot at the front of the dorsal fin base and have a smaller eye and less of the distinction in the scales outlining (Page and Burr 2011).
Smith (1985); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).
Size: 51 cm SL (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994)
Native Range: Atlantic Slope from New Brunswick to James River drainage, Virginia; Hudson Bay, Lake Ontario, and St. Lawrence drainages, Quebec, Ontario, and New York (Page and Burr 2011).
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 Semotilus corporalis are found here.
Table last updated 2/27/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Fallfish are associated with medium-sized and larger streams with sandy bottoms (Carlson et al. 2016).
Means of Introduction: Smith did not speculate or provide details on its method of introduction into Tonawanda Creek, New York; that population may also have originated through bait bucket release. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) strongly suspected that the source of the Falling River population in Virginia started with fish introduced from the adjacent James drainage. Presumably these introductions were a result of bait bucket release as well. Illegally introduced into California (Moyle 1976a).
Status: Established, possibly introduced, in the Adirondack Mountains, New York (Smith 1985); established in Falling River, Virginia (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); reported from Tonawanda Creek, New York (Smith 1985).
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Carlson, D.M., R.A. Daniels, and J.J. Wright. 2016. Atlas of inland fishes of New York. New York State Museum Record 7. New York State Education Department, Albany, NY.
Jenkins R.E., and N.M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. Volume 1. 1 edition. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.
Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. 2nd edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA.
Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.
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.
Daniel, W.M., L., Nico and P., Fuller
Revision Date: 5/7/2019
Peer Review Date: 9/16/2011
Daniel, W.M., L., Nico and P., Fuller, 2023, Semotilus corporalis (Mitchill, 1817): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=650, Revision Date: 5/7/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/16/2011, Access Date: 3/30/2023
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.