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Fish

 

A Great Wealth of Fish

Greater redhorse, Moxostoma valenciennesi.
Measuring a greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi).

The secret known among fisherfolk has been learned by the researchers of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project: muskellunges and bass are thriving in the Rideau River, [8] as are many other fish species.

An important component of the Project carried out the most comprehensive study of the Rideau River fish community to date. During the three years of the Project researchers captured, measured, and released nearly 15,000 fish from the Rideau River and five of its major tributaries.

Muskellunge, Esox masquinongy.
Muskellunge,
Esox masquinongy
.

This study found that the Rideau River has a thriving and diverse coolwater fish community. Thirty native species live in the River. Ten families are represented. Although sunfishes dominate the fish community, pike, minnows, common catfishes, and suckers are also abundant.

Locals and visitors will be lucky to see an emerald shiner or a mottled sculpin, two of the rarest species living in the Rideau River.

Comparative Table: Fish Populations of the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers
  Rideau River (Project) Ottawa River [9]
Number of Native Species 30 64
Number of Families 10 21


Two New Species
Two species new to the River were captured for the first time during the course of the Project. A freshwater drum had entered the Rideau River, likely by way of the Ottawa River or the St. Lawrence River. A tadpole madtom likely arrived via Kemptville Creek. While the researchers were interested to find two new species, these ones don't give any particular information about the state of the River's health. (Learn more about freshwater drum and tadpole madtom).

Credible Fish Tales
Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides.
Largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides.
The smallest fish caught during the Project were so small, they were less than 2 cm long. They were very young pumpkinseeds and perches. The longest was an enormous common carp, 85 cm long! Researchers also caught a 74 cm-long northern pike, and a 48 cm-long largemouth bass. The fish were released back into the River after they were weighed and measured.

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 Fish
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 Don't Overlook...
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 Meet the Relatives!
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Watch this video!
On and in the water with fish researchers.

On and in the water with fish researchers.

(1.37 Mb, QuickTime)
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Hemera, Anne Phelps