Photo credit: Eli Fridland
With over 85 fish species in the Ottawa River, it can be difficult to identify the species that need our help. We’re here to help with that!
Take the River Redhorse, for example. It is listed as a species of concern by the federal Species at Risk Act, by The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and by the government of Ontario, and as a vulnerable species by the Government of Quebec. This means that if we do not protect it now, it could become threatened or endangered in the future.
Species at Risk can be classified into 4 different categories, according to the Species at Risk Act (SARA):
|May become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats||Likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction||Facing imminent extirpation or extinction||No longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere|
Because of its designation as a Species of Special Concern, it’s important that you release the River Redhorse if you catch one. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify, and many people mistake it for the Common Carp. Check out our quick facts below to help you identify the River Redhorse, and head to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for more information.
|River Redhorse||Common Carp|
|No barbells (whiskers) around the mouth||Barbells (whiskers) around the mouth|
|Brown or olive green back, red caudal (tail) and anal fins (on the rear, bottom of the fish), and the top lobe of the caudal fin is longer than the bottom lobe||Common Carp have olive brown sides, yellowish belly and orange-red lower fins|
|Have a short dorsal fin (on their back) that spans a small part of the back||A single dorsal fin that spans large part of the back|
|Males develop spawning tubercles (bumps) on the face during spring.|
The River Redhorse can be found in many locations (see this map), and has been reported spawning around the mouth of the Gatineau River in June. It’s large size and proximity to shore when spawning also means it is easier to catch than other species at that time. Since it only shows up for about a month a year, it it often mistaken for the Common Carp.
If you see something of concern while out fishing, please call:
Ontario: OMNRF natural resource violations at 1-877-847-7667
Quebec: SOS Poaching at 1-800-463-2191