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Lynch Hosts Workshop on Cyprinid Identification

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Thursday, February 28, 2019

ANHC Aquatic Ecologist Dustin Lynch recently conducted a fish identification workshop at the Arkansas American Fisheries Society 2019 meeting at the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Approximately 50 fisheries biologists, professionals, and students from around the state attended Dustin’s three-hour workshop “Identification of Cyprinids in Arkansas.”

The comprehensive class covered all 64 native species of Cyprinid found in Arkansas. Cyprinids are members of the minnow family, Cyprinidae, and include minnows, shiners, chubs, dace, and stonerollers. They are the largest family of fishes in the world and the most diverse. Most of the photographs used in the presentation were taken by Dustin during his fieldwork over the past 12 years.

Workshop participants used a hand lens to examine and identify preserved fish specimens, looking for eight species of cyprinids found in Arkansas. They made identifications using various methods such as counting quantitative features, including scales and fin rays; observing eye shape, size, and position; observing shapes of the mouth, scales, and lateral line; determining alignment and distances between fins; and noting markings such as spots and stripes.

Although fish identification may seem difficult to the untrained eye, like most endeavors, it gets easier with practice and persistence. Dustin encouraged participants, sharing how after years of practice, he can now quickly spot the differences between similar-looking fish and identify them in the field.


Top left -- ANHC Aquatic Ecologist Dustin Lynch shows students how to identify cyprinids during a workshop at the Arkansas American Fisheries Society 2019 meeting.

Left -- Staff from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission collaborates during Lynch's workshop.

Bottom right -- Closeup of a participant examining cyprinids during the workshop.










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