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River Redhorse (Moxostoma Carinatum)

Existing Protection or Other Status Designations

Conservation ranks determined by the Association of Biodiversity Information are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Global, American and Canadian Federal, and State and Provincial Ranks Assigned by NatureServe (2002)
State/ProvincialAlabama (S4), Arkansas (S4), Florida (S1S2), Georgia (S2), Illinois (S2), Indiana (S3), Iowa (S?), Kansas (S1S2), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S1S3), Michigan (S1), Minnesota (S?), Mississippi (S3), Missouri (S?), New York (S2?), North Carolina (S2), Ohio (S3), Oklahoma (S1S2), Pennsylvania (S3), South Carolina (S1), Tennessee (S4), Virginia (S2S3), West Virginia (S3), Wisconsin (S2S3), Ontario (S2), Quebec (S2)



The river redhorse and its habitat are protected by the federal Fisheries Act, through the prohibition of any activity likely to adversely impact its habitat. The river redhorse was first designated as special concern (rare) by COSEWIC in 1983 (Parker and McKee 1984). This designation was reconfirmed in 1987 (Parker 1988) and in 2006. At the national level the river redhorse is ranked N2. In Ontario, it is considered very rare (S2) and has been ranked as vulnerable by the OMNR. River redhorse is addressed in the recovery strategies for species at risk in the Ausable and Grand rivers in Ontario (Dextrase et al. 2003, Portt et al. 2003).

The river redhorse is classified as a coarse fish by the OMNR and therefore is not afforded protection by catch limits, minimum size restrictions or by spearfishing regulations (McAllister et al. 1985). The species and/or its habitat may also be protected by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Federal Fisheries Act, Canada Water Act, Ontario Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, Ontario Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, Ontario Planning Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Quebec Environment Quality Act, Quebec Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife, and Quebec Act respecting threatened or vulnerable species. A wildlife refuge had been created in the Chambly Rapids to protect the spawning grounds and period of the copper and river redhorse. A fish sanctuary has also been designated along part of the Mississippi River to protect spawning river redhorse (Ontario Fishing Regulations 1989).

In Quebec, the river redhorse is on the list of species to be designated Vulnerable. Recreational harvesting of river redhorse is allowed in the St. Lawrence River, the Ottawa River and the Gatineau River but prohibited elsewhere in its distribution. Commercial harvest is prohibited in the province (Moisan 1998).