Blackside dace typically spawn over the pebble nests of other "nestbuilding" minnows, often Creek Chubs. In this case, we have created an artificial chub nest over which the dace can spawn. The brightly colored males court the females over the nest, eventually leading to the spawning act that scatters eggs over the mound. At CFI, we then are able to go in and vacuum eggs from this pebble nest. These eggs are then incubated in smaller containers. Upon hatching, the larvae are fed appropriately small food items until they are large enough to be transferred to larger quarters.

Blackside dace inhabit small streams in Kentucky and Tennessee coal country. Coal mining (including acid mine drainage), poor forestry practices and other human development (road building in particular) have impacted the habitat of this specialized minnow. Many of the streams they once occupied are no longer habitable.

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