Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Noel Burkhead
Photo Copyright Noel Burkhead & Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (Fishes of Virginia)

The longnose dace, Rhinichthys cataractae, is a widely distributed minnow, naturally occurring throughout much of North America, from northern Canada to northern Mexico. In Utah, the species is native to the northern part of the state, where it is found in swift cold creeks and occasionally lakes. The range of the species has been extended in Utah due to several "bait bucket" introductions. Longnose dace are consumed by sport fish, especially trout, and are an important forage fish in some parts of their range.

Longnose dace are primarily benthic feeders (they eat on the bottom), eating insect larvae, insects, algae, and plant matter. The species spawns during the spring and summer over gravel substrate. Eggs hatch in about one week, and young stay in slow water areas until they reach the age of six weeks, when they move to swift-water habitats. Longnose dace are most active at night.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.