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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Redside Dace in Canada

Special Significance of the Species

The redside dace is an insectivore that feeds primarily on terrestrial insects (Scott and Crossman 1973; Daniels and Wisniewski 1994); therefore it provides a conduit for energy cycling between terrestrial and stream environments. Where redside dace are abundant, they may serve as prey for piscivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Redside dace may be useful as an indicator of ecosystem health as they are more sensitive to environmental disturbance than most fish species in the Ontario streams where they occur. Becker (1983) suggested that the colour and active nature of redside dace would make it desirable as an aquarium fish.