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Redside Dace

Redside Dace (Clinostomus elongatus)

Endangered in state of Michigan

The redside dace is a sensitive and colorful minnow found in three tributaries of the Rouge River (Johnson, Minnow Pond and Seeley Creeks). It requires cool clean water, silt-free gravel for spawning and feeds on flying insects by jumping from the water. These traits led to its rarity in the state and listing as a state endangered species.

In Michigan, redside dace are found in one other lower peninsula stream: Bean Creek, a tributary to the Maumee River in Hillsdale County, and an introduced population in several Upper Peninsula tributaries to the Presque Isle River and Lake Superior. 

In 2012, Robert Muller and fellow UM-D student Kristina Blott undertook a project to update the status of the redside dace as part of an internship with Friends of the Rouge.  They surveyed 11 sites in the Upper Rouge and 11 sites in Johnson Creek using seine nets. They found 18 redside dace in three Upper Rouge sites (Minnow & Seeley Creeks and the Upper branch) and eight at one Johnson Creek site.

A factor contributing to the low number of dace in the Johnson Creek was the presence of non-native European brown trout, known competitors and predators of the dace. Sharing this finding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources convinced them to discontinue stocking them.

For more details, Read the report: 2012 Survey of Fishes in the Waters of the Middle & Upper Rouge River Historically Inhabited by the Redside Dace

Since the 2012 survey, neither FOTR nor the DNR have found any individuals of these fish.

black dots = sampling sites; red blocks = species present