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Blackside Dace

Fact File

Scientific Name: Chrosomus cumberlandensis

Classification: Fish, Order Cypriniformes, Family Leuciscidae

Conservation Status:

  • Federally Threatened in the U.S.
  • State Threatened in Virginia

Size: Average length of 2.3 inches

Life Span: 3 Years


Blackside Dace are omnivorous, consuming a variety of insects, algae, and detritus.

Identifying Characteristics

  • Scarlet color tones along the lateral portion of the fish
  • Olive colored dorsal (back) with several speckles intermixed
  • One or two stripes along the side that converge near the tail


Within Virginia, Blackside Dace inhabit the small upland headwaters within the Powell and Clinch watersheds in the southwestern portion of the state.

Distribution of Blackside Dace in Virginia


Blackside Dace inhabit smaller streams that are often 2 to 5 meters wide. They will often be found in pools that have overhead cover in the form of bedrock ledges, undercut banks, or brush. They require cool water with substrates absent of silt, and benefit from undisturbed riparian areas.


Special Considerations

It is illegal to target Blackside Dace by angling. The Blackside Dace is listed as a threatened species under federal and Virginia law. It is a violation of state and federal law to harass, harm, or take any threatened or endangered species.

For the definitions of take, harass, and harm, see 4 VAC 15-20-140.

Last updated: March 25, 2024

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.