Lined Topminnow for Successful Fisheries Management

August 2nd, 2013

Written by Bob Lusk, Editor Pond Boss Magazine

It’s common to receive a phone call at Pond Boss world headquarters from a new pondmeister ready to stock fish in a brand new pond. As the discussion unfolds, it’s not unusual to hear the following comment, “I don’t need minnows because I can see them everywhere.”

Minnows which are easy to see usually aren’t the same kind of minnows used to set the table for game fish. Fish seen moving, darting and swimming in shallow areas of ponds are usually some type of mosquitofish, topminnow or killifish. Rarely growing much larger than two inches, these fish serve a role where they live…even if it isn’t part of the food chain for bass.

The lined topminnow, Fundulus lineolatus, is a fish most people won’t even notice in a pond or surrounding watershed. It’s a native fish in its range, and like most topminnows, spends much of its life chasing and eating tiny insects. This species prefers shallow, soft and slightly acidic water, perfect for blackwater creeks, swamps and ponds. It’s found in these areas and backwater regions from Virginia, through the Carolinas to the Ocklocknee River drainage areas in Georgia and Florida and all the way down to Lake Okeechobee.

Lined topminnows thrive in warmer waters and prefer pH between 6.0 to 7.5.

This killifish scatter their eggs, and don’t guard them. The male has vertical stripes, the female’s are horizontal.

Even if you don’t have a Lined Topminnow, don’t be surprised to see some type of topwater fish gracing the shallow, vegetated areas of your pond, especially if there’s a creek or stream nearby.

Photo Caption:  “Banded topminnow.” Lined topminnow, captured for a photo from a blackwater, stream-fed lake in North Cackalacka…er North Carolina. (compliments of Bob Lusk, Pond Boss)

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Bob Lusk, editor of Pond Boss, has 30+ years of practical field experience in the art of lake and pond management.  Lusk is a fisheries biologist with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, fisheries management. His talented writing skills, combined with many, many years of hands-on experience, makes him one of the best known lake management consultants in the world.   

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