• Fallfish

Latin name

Semotilus corporalis

Other names

Windfish, silver chub.


The body of the fallfish is slender with a blunt, pointed head. There is a single long dorsal fin. The adult scales are arranged in a pattern of dark triangular black stripes. The mouth is terminal and has tendrils characteristic of carp, which are sometimes hidden. The colouration is olive on the back, silver on the sides and white on the belly. The breeding male has tubercles on the snout and a pink colouration. Juveniles have a dark stripe on the sides. Autumn chub can be distinguished from brook chub by the absence of a black spot at the base of the dorsal fin.


These fish are commonly found in eastern Canada in the James Bay watershed and as far south as Virginia on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains.


Fallfish inhabit areas with gravel and rocky bottoms in cold, clear streams and along the edges of lakes and ponds. In rivers and streams, adults prefer deeper and calmer waters, while juveniles often visit faster and shallower waters.


Fallfish can grow to 16 inches or more in length. In smaller streams they are likely to be smaller, averaging 10-15 inches. The usual weight is between 1 and 2 pounds. Fish have been known to live up to 10 years.

Life history and Behavior

The spawning season lasts from spring to summer, beginning in early May as the water warms. The male builds a nest in the form of a pit of small stones and pebbles in shallow water or in calm pools on a clean gravel bottom. The nest can be 6 feet long and 3 feet high. It can weigh up to 200 pounds due to the volume of the gravel and is the largest stone nest built by any fish. The male will repeatedly lay eggs in the same nest with several different females.

Food and feeding habits

Adults feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects (such as mayflies, beetles, wasps and ants), small crustaceans, small fish and algae. Juveniles feed on zooplankton and phytoplankton.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Cypriniformes
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Semotilus
Species S. corporalis
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 10
Maximum body weight, kg 1.6
Maximum length, cm 48
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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