Meet the Morningside Minnows!

Meet the Morningside Minnows!
June 29, 2021 Debbie Pokornik
Redside dace

Meet the Morningside Minnows, also known as Redside Dace! They are the only minnow in Canada with the ability to jump out of the water to eat insects; they often use nests built by other fish species leaving it up to them to guard the nest and eggs; females are typically larger than males; and they live about four years.

Unfortunately, the facts are not all fun—this fragile species has declined in many areas throughout its range and now its endangered population is mainly found around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, and more specifically in Morningside Creek of the Rouge watershed. As an environmental indicator of the health of our waters, implementing strategies to secure the persistence and sustainability of Redside Dace in Ontario supports healthy waters for us all! 

Thanks to generous funding provided by the Save the Rouge Valley System and support from the City of Toronto, TRCA staff have been working in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry and the City of Toronto to implement strategic restoration projects within 3 sections along Morningside Creek to improve Redside Dace habitat and overall natural system function for the creek, floodplain, and associated wildlife.

Riparian work along a stream

One of the main concerns for Redside Dace at Morningside Creek are thermal impacts which is why riparian plantings have become a large focus of this restoration. Plantings along the area where water meets land in a watercourse help to shade out the water’s surface and creek flows to help cool the in-stream temperatures which Redside Dace need to survive. The overhanging vegetation also attracts insects close to the water surface, providing improved feeding opportunities for Redside Dace.

How can YOU make a difference to Redside Dace, and healthy waters?

  • Reduce the threat of invasive species
  • Maintain natural vegetation next to creeks and rivers
  • Keep pollution and soil from washing into streams and rivers
  • Limit fertilizer application at home
  • Install raingardens, or similar features to reduce yard runoff
  • Support WATER projects at TRCF!

A naturalized area next to a subdivision