Longnose dace

Longnose dace


Olive-green to brown on the back and upper sides shading to white on the belly. Darkened scale pockets give the sides a mottled look, and the lateral band is indistinct in adults. Breeding males are washed with pink on the lower portions of the body. There are 61 to 73 scales in the complete lateral line. Hooked pharyngeal teeth are arranged in a 2, 4-4, 2 pattern, but this formula may vary. The upper jaw and snout greatly overhangs the lower jaw, and a barbel is present at the tip of the maxillary. A silver peritoneum speckled with brown covers the gut cavity, and the air bladder is rudimentary. Dorsal and pelvic fins contain 8 rays, while the anal fin has 7 rays, and the pectoral fins have from 13 to 15 rays.


Longnose dace Distribution

Confined to the extreme northeast corner of Iowa. Collections have been recorded in the Upper Iowa, Yellow, Turkey, Volga, and the upper reaches of the Maquoketa Rivers, where they are common in nearly all samples.


insect larvae

State Record

4 - 5 inches

Expert Tip



The longnose dace spawns over clean sand or gravel in swift current in April and May. Adults are 4- to 5-inches long at maturity and live in riffles of gravel and boulder.

Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.

Present in these Iowa water bodies:
Lake/Stream County Location Acres/Length
Yellow River Allamakee T96N, R6W, S3 to T96N, R4W, S24 25.00
Paint Creek Allamakee Located in Yellow River State Forest, 3 miles west of Harpers Ferry off of State Forest Road or CR B25. 11.00
Ten Mile Creek Winneshiek Located 2 miles northwest of Decorah. T98N, R9W, S1, 2, 3 10.64
Maquoketa River (trout portion) Clayton The Upper Maquoketa River from Joy Springs downstream to Backbone Lake contains trout year-round. The area 3 miles southwest of Strawberry Point off 400th is stocked with catchable fish. 8.00
Bloody Run Creek Clayton Located 2 miles west of Marquette off of Highway 18. 6.50
Sny Magill Creek Clayton Located in the Sny Magill Wildlife Management Area, 3 miles southwest of McGregor along Keystone Road. 5.00
Coldwater Creek Winneshiek Located 3 miles northwest of Bluffton off of Coldwater Creek Road. 4.00
Coon Creek Winneshiek Located in Coon Creek Wildlife Management Area, 7 miles northeast of Decorah. 2.60
Otter Creek Fayette Located 3 miles southeast of West Union. 2.50
Pine Creek Allamakee Located on Pine Creek Wildlife Management Area, 2 miles northeast of Sattre on Balsam Road or CR W60. 2.50
Fountain Springs Delaware 2.5 miles northeast of Greeley along Oak Road. Most of the fishery lies within Fountain Springs County Park 2.30
Trout Run Winneshiek Located on the south side of Decorah off Trout Run Road. 2.20
Upper Swiss Valley Creek Dubuque Located 3 miles south of Dubuque near Swiss Valley Nature Center, just off Swiss Valley Road 2.10
North Cedar Creek Clayton Located 3 miles west of McGregor off of CR B60 or Ivory Road. 2.00
Clear Creek Allamakee Stream runs along Highway 9 through Lansing. Public angling access is at the County Park located off South Road Drive. 2.00
Buck Creek Clayton Located 3 miles northeast of Garnavillo. 1.70
Patterson Creek Allamakee Stream located 4 miles northwest of Waukon. 1.40
Hewett and Ensign Creeks (Ensign Hollow) Clayton Located on Ensign Hollow Wildlife Management Area about 5 miles north of Strawberry Point. Access is provided on the north side of 322nd street. 1.30
Little Turkey River Delaware 3 miles east of Colesburg in Hoffman Wildlife Managment Area off Hubbard Road 1.20
Spring Falls Delaware T90N - R4W; sections 1, 2, 12 0.80
Lower Swiss Valley Creek Dubuque Located 3 miles south of Dubuque in Swiss Valley Park just off Swiss Valley Road 0.80
Joy Springs Clayton South on Alpha Ave, off Highway 3 about 3 miles west of Strawberry Point in Joy Springs County Park. 0.80
Bankston Creek Dubuque Just south of Park Hollow Road, 3 miles north of Bankston in Bankston County Park 0.60
Bigalk Creek Howard Located 7 miles northeast of Cresco. 0.60
Mossy Glen Clayton 5 miles northwest of Edgewood at the termination of the Level B portion of Eagle Ave. Road damage from weather has made access to this site difficult for all vehicles. Not recommended for low-clearance or 2-wheel drives. 0.50
Bohemian Creek Winneshiek Located about 1.5 miles east of Protivin. 0.30