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jcl 03-23-2009 05:30 PM

Fish identification question
I'm sure this will be fun with no pictures, but here goes:

I was fishing in central VA on the South River and started catching a type of fish completely new to me. They were about 5 inches long and silver, and kind of looked like a fat minnow or goldfish even. They had red tips to their fins and tails, and three dark vertical markings on their sides.

I talked to a friend in Georgia who's also caught these fish (but doesn't know what they are), so I assume there's at least some spread to their range.

Any ideas?

Ard 03-23-2009 05:35 PM

Re: Fish identification question
Check on your VA. fish commission site for a listing of all game & rough / forage fish you'll probably find it there.


Troutseeker 03-23-2009 07:31 PM

Re: Fish identification question

Well I have never seen anything like that before but then again I am not from VA. I did some quick looking and I found this. (hope the picture works)

This is called a river redhorse (there are all sorts of types of redhorse so you could check them), that is if it is the fish you are talking about. Seemed to match the discription close but not sure if they are found in VA and they do get quite big. It is also one of the closest things I could find that looks sort of goldfishish although this has fins that are completely red and not red tipped and minus the vertical markings. Thought I would give it a try.

I remember the first time I caught a chub, I had no idea what it was and just had to know so I took it over to the person I was fishing with and asked them. Their response was "thats just an ugly chub", he's right it was an ugly thing.

I agree with Ard check the fish commission they would know.

Anyway good luck with the mystery fish,


jcl 03-24-2009 07:16 AM

Re: Fish identification question
Thanks, guys. The redhorse is similar, but not quite it (and thanks for the tip to look at other variations).

I found this site:

EFISH: The Virtual Aquarium of Virginia Tech

but couldn't even find it there. I wonder if it's a regional variation/strain of something. The vertical markings were prominent enough that you couldn't miss them, and all sizes of them.

Yeah, chubs are weird fish, especially the ones that get the bumps on their heads when they spawn -- the first time I caught one of them, I thought something was wrong with it.

boone 03-24-2009 07:44 AM

Re: Fish identification question
was it pretty small? I've seen some really small monnows that look similar i'll see ifi can find a pic.

jcl 03-24-2009 08:02 AM

Re: Fish identification question
Not overly small as far as minnows go -- up to about 5 inches or so.

peregrines 03-24-2009 08:19 AM

Re: Fish identification question
Did it have 2 fins on the back? If so it might have been in the perch family (darters etc)

HuronRiverDan 03-24-2009 08:19 AM

Re: Fish identification question
From your description it sounds like it would be some form of sucker, I have seen suckers with the vertical bars you mentioned.


axle27 03-24-2009 08:29 AM

Re: Fish identification question
No red tips, but could it be a Fallfish? I've caught them in the same waters as trout.

Fallfish Picture and Information

Don't know if you've checked out this site:

jcl 03-24-2009 08:32 AM

Re: Fish identification question
I appreciate everyone's help. I feel like it's one of those times when you say, "Hey, I ran into a friend of yours. I forget his name, but he's about 5'9", short brown hair, average weight..."

I honestly didn't think to look at the dorsal fins that closely (I never assumed I'd have trouble getting the id), so I can't remember if there are 1 or 2, but I think just 1. The red tips made both me and my Dad (who wasn't there) think it might be in the perch family, but nothing matches up.

It didn't quite have the face of a sucker, but you're right that they can have those vertical markings. I took a big sucker out of that river last year, but she didn't have the markings.

I was sure that someone would know just what they were, esp. as it's on a well-known stream. I thought about taking my camera, and then just didn't bother. Ergh.

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