The Fallfish is a large native minnow that lives in clear, rocky streams in the Eastern US and SE Canada. Their range generally extends east of the Alleghanies, from northern New York to Virginia. They get up to 22 inches long and can reach four pounds in weight. Fallfish are great sport, especially on light fly tackle. They can be distinguished from similar minnows by the scales, which appear to be outlined in black. According to many sources, fallfish can be excellent table fare, although care must be taken in preparing them to account for the multitude of tiny bones.
Unlike other minnows which have rather stupid mouths, the fallfish has the grim lines of a fighter about its jaws, and its body is sleek and powerful. Altogether, it is a handsome fish.
Bill Wolf, Pennsylvania Angler, 1950
Like other chub species, fallfish are nest-builders. The male fallfish builds a low, cone-shaped pile out of pebbles and small stones. Female fallfish deposit their eggs in the nest, and the males defend them. Fallfish nests have been found that measure up to six feet wide and two feet tall! Obviously, this construction activity is a major source of structure and food for other fishes in the stream, as the movement of all those stones contributes to the food items available in the drift. Also, other species of minnows benefit from this construction, since the male fallfish only chases other male fallfish away from his nest. Common Shiners and Blacknose Dace, among others, benefit from fallfish nests as they are used to protect their own eggs.
Other names: Chub, Mohawk Chub, Silver Chub, Eastern Chub, Chivin, White Chub, Windfish, Corporal, Whitefish, Dace.