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#541667 11/28/21 08:00 PM
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ccarse Offline OP
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I had posted these pics in another thread: https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=540117#Post540117 But only received a single reply so thought maybe I'd post a thread dedicated to trying to identify what species of minnow I'm dealing with here. I realize now I probably should have taken some better pics of individual fish.

I was at the new property Wednesday and the kids went off doing their thing and next thing I know they said they had "found" some minnows. I had them show me and near the pond intake (there's a water retention pond up from our pond at the nearby high school which when full overflows into our pond) there were tens maybe hundreds of thousands of minnows. Any idea why they were all bunched up here at this end of the pond in the shallows like this? It almost looked like they were trying to swim "upstream". Also, what species of minnow was this? They were mostly in the 2-4" range with a couple I saw that might have gone 5" or 6". We had recently had some rain so there was a small amount of water flowing from the upper pond to our pond.
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]

I was back at the property today and no minnows could be seen in that area of the pond, dead or alive.

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Looks like a golden shiner spawn aggregation!

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Depending on location your at could be Emerald Shiners.


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Very nice picture of that individual fish. I could not see the fins extended. Spotfins can have a characteristic black spot in the dorsal fin, not sure what coloring looks like this close to winter.
Golden shiners often have a little wider body, a pronounced curvature in their lateral line (this one has a very subtle curved lateral line) and usually are 'golden' colored rather than silvery/blue/pinkish.

Emerald, spotfin, spottail, common shiners etc are all desirable shiners to have in your body of water. I have spotfins and they stay vigorous even in cold water. I also have seen them bunch up wherever water is exiting or entering. When I had heavy rain and my pond was overflowing in one direction all the spotfins were all bunched up in that overflow area and working like crazy to 'get upstream' or out of the pond. Somehow their instinct knew there was a way out and it was all in that direction. They were in every little residual pool of water in the grass of our yard trying to get upstream and all bunched up like this.

Male spotfins color up in a beautiful fashion when water warms enough for spawning. In MI it is usually late May early June but not sure where your pond temps are in the spring. My oldest/largest SFS are probably 4", maybe larger although I haven't found a way to catch the big ones to photograph or measure. They move like lightning and have no problem avoiding predation.

I found this very nice pictorial guide to fish in Ohio (and probably in MI as I recognize several of these subtypes of shiners and minnows in our local creeks and ponds).

It might be a good resource for Mr. Cody to save in a handy spot when others want to identify minnows.

Mr. Cody might be able to tell you what this minnow/shiner is for sure as well. If they are still in your pond you should be happy about this!

Link to Ohio Guide:

Guide to Ohio Fish

Last edited by canyoncreek; 11/29/21 03:52 PM.
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CC, pay close attention to the lateral line in the OP's picture. The only fish in that source that comes close is a spotfin. A GS has the drooping lateral line too, but the mouth doesn't quite match up (to me) from a GS.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Thanks so much all. I'm planning on getting an expert out here to help figure out what direction to take this pond. So far, it does seem very healthy other than the missing gamefish.

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Hello, Picktown!


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