Tortuga Tex on the Longnose Dace - Text Version
Howdy, Y'all. I'm here to talk to you about longnose dace (Rhinichthys cararactae). Their scientific name says a lot about them. Rhinichthys means "snout fish" and cararactae means waterfall or fast water.
As you can see on my map, in Texas longnose dace can only be found in the Big Bend part of the Rio Grande.
Longnose dace like riffles and runs with gravel and cobble substrate. They grow up to 9 inches long and swim in schools, some of which can be very big.
They spawn (lay eggs) in small nests made in loose gravel. They use their long nose to root around in the gravel looking for food such as mayflies and midges.
These fish need fast-flowing, clean water, two things that have disappeared from much of the Rio Grande due to water pumping and water pollution.
Some fear this species may disappear from Texas, but you can help protect our state's special fishes by conserving and not wasting water.
By Ken Saunders