E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Hybognathus hankinsoni Hubbs, 1929
Brassy Minnow
Family: Cyprinidae

Photo of species

© Mike Pearson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #78339)

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Source: Distribution map provided by Don McPhail for E-Fauna BC
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Species Information

This is a small, plain fish, with a snout that slightly overhangs the lower jaw: the dorsal fin originates in front of the pelvic fin, the mouth is small and the scales are large (37-40 along the lateral line). It lacks maxillary barbels. For further information, refer to McPhail (2008).
Source: McPail, J. D. 2008. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press, Edmonton.

Identification and Subspecies Information

The British Columbia Conservation Data Center recognizes two blue-listed populations of this species:

1) Hybognathus hankinsoni - Pacific group
2) Hybognathus hankinsoni - western Arctic group


Species Biology

Adults occur in cool pools of sluggish, clear creeks and small rivers, usually over sand or gravel; more abundant in cool acid waters of silt-bottomed bog ponds (Ref. 1998). Probably feed on phytoplankton and other algae, zooplankton, and aquatic insects (Ref. 1998). Oviparous, open substratum spawners (Ref. 205, 52559). Probably spawn in May or June over silty bottoms of calm waters (Ref. 1998). Predators may include brook trout, kingfishers, and mergansers (Ref. 1998).

Source: FishBase. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.


BC Distribution and Notes

The biology of this little fish is a mystery. It is especially abundant in the lower Fraser Valley and headwater ponds and small lakes in the Prince George area. In between it is exceedingly rare. In the lower Fraser Valley it appears to migrate to and from the main river; however, its movements are largely uncharted. All we know is that, seasonally, it turns up in large numbers at some sites and then disappears. The populations in the Esker Provincial Park appear to be extinct. Probably victims of an exotic species (brook trout) introduced to create a recreational fishery.

Source: Information provided by Don McPhail for E-Fauna BC.
Global Distribution

North America: upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain drainages in Quebec, Canada and New York, USA; across Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and Missouri-upper Mississippi River basins of southern Canada and northern USA south to Kansas; Peace River (Ref. 1998) and Fraser River system (Pacific Slope) in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.

Source: FishBase. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.

Status Information

Scientific NameOrigin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
Hybognathus hankinsoniNativeS4No StatusNot Listed
Hybognathus hankinsoni - Pacific groupNativeS2S3BlueNot Listed
Hybognathus hankinsoni - western Arctic groupNativeS3S4BlueNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-04-22 7:59:19 AM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC