The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Semotilus corporalis
Semotilus corporalis
Native Transplant

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Semotilus corporalis (Mitchill, 1817)

Common name: Fallfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

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.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
ME199819991Maine Coastal
NY198520062Black; Niagara River
PA197020072Conemaugh; Youghiogheny
TN195619561Kentucky Lake
VA196820074Meherrin; Middle Roanoke; Upper New; Upper Roanoke
WV199719971Little Muskingum-Middle Island

Table last updated 6/14/2024

† 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.

Remarks: This species is known to hybridize with Luxilus cornutus (Scott and Crossman 1973).

Some believe that the Fallfish may not have been present in the Adirondacks of New York before canals and associated waterways were constructed (Smith 1985). As such, Smith (1985) indicated its presence is possibly the result of introduction, perhaps by way of the Erie Canal system or by bait bucket dumping.

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Daniel, W.M., L., Nico and P., Fuller

Revision Date: 5/7/2019

Peer Review Date: 9/16/2011

Citation Information:
Daniel, W.M., L., Nico and P., Fuller, 2024, 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: 6/14/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/14/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.