NANFA-L-- Help with fish ID, please

lstaunt (
Thu, 06 Apr 2006 20:23:27 -0400

I'm new to observing native fish and also new to this email list, so please
bear with me...

I'm having trouble identifying a fish I came across this weekend and am
hoping someone here can help me.

The fish is about 2" long, and I found it in the Robinson River in the Syria
area of Madison County, Virginia. I'm not sure whether this factoid matters,
but the stream is one stocked with trout by the state that same weekend.

It was located in slow-moving, shallow (4-6" give or take), rocky water
along with darters, sculpins, lampreys, and crayfish. I saw two more in a
deeper pool (2-3') next to the shallow water. They appeared to be the same

The fish has what I believe is a sucker sort of a mouth with a fat lower lip
that is shaped sort of like a W. I scooped him out of the water with a
little net and placed him in a critter keeper with some rocks from the
stream and got a couple photos of him. The picture of his mouth isn't the
greatest, but hopefully it shows the W shape I mentioned above. He also
appears to have little flaps of skin in front of his eyes that I didn't
notice until I was posting the photos a few minutes ago. If I'd realized
they were there, I would have tried to get better photos of them before I
put him back.

The whole fish from the side:

The mouth and the possible eye flap (which I believe I can also see in other
photos on both sides of his head)

The fish from above:

I tried using the species list for Madison County from the VAFWIS site and
the VA Tech Virtual Aquarium site as well as a couple other internet
resources and have failed miserably to come up with an ID that I'm
comfortable matches. I also tried using google images to look up the various
suckers and jumprocks and such reported in VA (as I thought they seemed the
most likely suspects). Also looked-in-lots of native fish pictures on other
websites, including links from this email list. Being a newbie-in-this,
though, I'm sure I'm missing something obvious and am hoping the members of
this list will recognize him immediately or-in-least be able to point me in
the right direction to ID him.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer.
Madison, VA
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