Fish

Twenty-seven species of fish have been identified as present in the Meduxnekeag system in New Brunswick in surveys carried out by the NB Department of Natural Resources, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Meduxnekeag River Association between 1992 and 2004. 

Fish population estimates for the Meduxnekeag watershed, determined by the Department of Natural Resources based on survey information (1997-2004), indicate generally healthy population numbers, with considerable yearly fluctuations in some cases.  There is a declining population for salmon parr, which is consistent with other fish data and anecdotal information along the St. John River Valley.

An introduced species which has been found in the St. John River near the Meduxnekeag, and is probably present in some parts of the Meduxnekeag though not yet confirmed, is the Muskellunge.

Atlantic Salmon

(Salmo salar)

Size: to 1.3 m (Meduxnekeag population is principally parr)
Appearance: Brownish above, silvery sides, with numerous small black spots
Food: Eats crustaceans and small fish, aquatic insects.
Habitat: Spends much of life in ocean, spawns in freshwater streams and spends early life in freshwater, but populations in St. John River system much reduced in part due to dams barring migratory passage.

Brook Trout

(Salvelinus fontinalis)

Size: to 50 cm
Appearance: Back and sides have red or yellowish tint with lighter wavy lines; sides have red spots within blue halos; belly ordinarily white, reddish in adult males
Food: Carnivorous - feeds on a wide range of organisms, even their own eggs or young, but principally insects
Habitat: Native to N. America-widely distributed throughout the Maritimes and NE. United States

Brown Trout

(Salmo trutta)

Size: Can reach 1 m
Appearance: Back and sides are olive coloured, belly is silvery
Food: Carnivorous-eats insects, crayfish, molluscs, salamanders, frogs, and rodents
Habitat: Streams and lakes in Canada; Meduxnekeag is one of two NB rivers with resident population

Smallmouth Bass

(Micropterus dolomieu)

Size: to 60 cm
Appearance: Back is dark olive, sides greenish yellowFood: insects, crayfish, and fish
Habitat: Found in cool, clear streams, lakes, and reservoirs in SW. Quebec and SE. Ontario, but has been widely introduced to other areas.

White Perch

(Morone americana)

Size: to 48 cm (average 20-25 cm)
Appearance: Back is greenish grey, sides a bit lighter, belly whitish
Food: carnivores who eat crabs, shrimp, and small fish
Habitat: Brackish water in bays and estuaries as well as fresh-water populations in rivers and lakes

Yellow Perch

(Perca flavescens)

Size: to 35 cm (average smaller)
Appearance: Brassy green to golden yellow with golden bars across back
Food: decapods and eggs of other fish
Habitat: open areas in streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

Chain Pickerel

Esox niger

Size: Can reach 79 cm
Appearance: Olive to yellowish brown with chainlike markings and long snout
Food: Primarily fish eaters, but will also feed on amphibians,snakes, small birds, and rodents
Habitat: Clean, clear lakes, ponds, swamps, and reservoirs in NS, NB and Quebec

Brown Bullhead

(Ameiurus nebulosus)

Size: Can reach 48 cm
Appearance: Dark olive back, belly is whitish
Food: molluscs, insects, leeches, crayfish, plankton, worms, algae, plant material, and fishes 
Habitat: Clear water in NS west to Saskatchewan

White Sucker

(Catostomus commersoni)

Size: Can reach 61 cm
Appearance: Back dusky olive, sides greenish-yellow
Food: Insect larva, molluscs, and other invertebrates
Habitat: Cool, clear streams and lakes in Canada and the U.S

American Eel

(Anguilla rostrata)

Size: up to1.5 m
Appearance: Dark brown or green above, fading to yellowish-white on belly.  Snakelike body
Food: A large variety of fish species, as well as insect larva
Habitat: Brackish or freshwater along coast of North America from Labrador to Guyana

American Smelt

(Osmerus mordax)

Size: Up to 25 cm (average smaller)
Appearance: slender and silver with an olive green back
Food: Zooplankton, aquatic worms, and fish
Habitat: Coastal waters and freshwater lakes in the Maritimes, Maine, Newfoundland, Quebec, and Ontario

Pumpkinseed

(Lepomis gibbosus)

Size: Up to 25 cm
Appearance: Back is dark greenish-gold mottled with reddish orange, sides greenish-yellow, mottled orange and blue-green, belly yellow-orange
Food: Aquatic insect larvae, terrestrial insect adults, young snails and clams, leeches, and larval fishes
Habitat: Cool, quiet, slow, shallow streams, ponds, marshes, and lakes from NB to Manitoba

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Alewife

(Alosa pseudoharengus)

Size: Up to 38 cm
Appearance: Back is iridescent grayish-green or violet, sides
paler, belly silvery
Food: Diatoms, shrimp, insects, small fishes, and fish eggs
Habitat: bays, estuaries, and fresh water from Newfoundland to S. Carolina

Blueback Herring

(Alosa aestivalis)

Size: up to 18 cm
Appearance: Silvery with a deep blueish green dorsal area
Food: Plankton, various small floating animals, small fish fry, and fish eggs
Habitat: Freshwater rivers and tributaries in Northwestern Atlantic south to Florida

Fallfish

(Semotilus corporalis)

Size: Up to 51 cm
Appearance: Back is olive brown, sides silvery
Food: insects, crayfish, fish , algae, and detritus
Habitat: Clear streams and lakes in NB, S. Quebec and E. Ontario and along Atlantic coast

Creek Chub

(Semotilus atromaculatus)

Size: Up to 30 cm
Appearance: Back is olive coloured, sides silvery with a greenish purple sheen
Food: larval insects, terrestrial insects, and small fish
Habitat: Small clear to turbid streams and lakes in Eastern N. America

Lake Chub

(Couesius plumbeus)

Size: Up to 23 cm
Appearance: Bluish gray to dark green above with a mid-lateral stripe and silvery white below
Food: Aquatic insects
Habitat: Rivers, creeks and, and lakes in Alaska, Canada, and the U.S

Pearl Dace

(Margariscus margarita)

Size: up to 15 cm
Appearance: Dark olive to gray with numerous black specks on silver sides.  White, yellow, or red bellied
Food: Aquatic insects
Habitat: Cool, clear, headwater streams, ponds, lakes, and bogs throughout Canada

Finscale Dace

(Phoxinus neogaeus)

Size: 6-7 cm
Appearance: dark brown back, with an olive-green, gold, or reddish stripe
Food: Insects, algae, and small crustaceans
Habitat: Swampy streams, ponds, and lakes from Maine to NB and west through the northern U.S and southern Canada

Blacknose Dace

(Rhinichthys atratulus)

Size: Up to 9 cm
Appearance: Yellow-olive to dark brown above with black splotches, dark midlateral stripe
Food: Aquatic insect larvae
Habitat: Springs and cool, clear creaks from Nova Scotia west to Manitoba

Common Shiner

(Luxilus cornutus)

Size: Up to 15 cm
Appearance: Back is olive coloured with a wide dark stripe, fins rosy in colour
Food: feeds at or near the surface, primarily on insects
Habitat: Creeks and rivers from Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan

Golden Shiner

(Notemigons crysoleucas)

Size: Up to 30 cm
Appearance: Back golden to olive, sides light olive, belly silvery yellow
Food: zooplankton, small crustaceans, insects, small fish and algae
Habitat: Streams, lakes, ponds, and swamps in southern Canada

Blacknose Shiner

(Fundulus diaphanus)

Size: Up to 12.5 cm
Appearance: Olive brown below, sides silvery with 12-20 greenish-brown bars
Food: feeds primarily on or near the bottom, on zooplankton and vegetation
Habitat: Rivers, creeks, ponds, and lakes from Nfld. to Great Lakes

Banded Killifish

(Fundulus diaphanus)

Size: Up to 12.5 cm
Appearance: Olive brown above, silvery sides, with 12-20 greenish-brown bars, throat and fins yellowish
Food: Aquatic and terrestrial insects, planktonic crustacea, plant seeds, and fine algae material
Habitat: Quiet rivers, creeks, ponds, and lakes in southern Newfoundland southwest to Great Lakes. Also found south along Atlantic coast to South Carolina

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