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Colorado Pike Minnow

The Colorado Pike Minnow is the largest minnow in North America. These fish have been known to reach six feet in length and 80 pounds in weight. Adult fish may be green-gray to bronze on their backs and silver to white along their sides and bottoms. During spawning, their fins can take on an orange hue.

Natural History

The Colorado Pike Minnows historic range extended through  nearly the entire Green and Colorado River drainage. Their present range is restricted to limited sections in these rivers. Its habitat has been so degraded by dams and non-native species that the fish now appears on the Federal endangered species list.

The Colorado Pike Minnow is historically known as the Colorado River Squawfish. It's name was recently changed to be more politically correct.

The Pike Minnow primarily feeds on other fish (piscivorous), but small fish will also eat insects. Similar to the salmon, the Colorado pike minnow may take long migrations of 200 miles or more to spawn in small tributaries and streams of the rivers in which they live. The Colorado pike minnow reaches sexual maturity at about 10 years, and spawns in the late spring. The fish was once so common, they were commercially fished for markets in Denver, Salt Lake and even San Francisco. It also appeared as a featured entrée on the Christmas 1875 menu at Lee’s Ferry.

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