• fecundity;
  • reproductive effort;
  • multiple-spawning;
  • Cyprinidae;
  • oocyte

Abstract – We examined the reproductive characteristics of 38 female longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae) from one of the southernmost populations of this species during two sampling periods in 1999 (ES=March 1999, LS=June 1999). Our data indicated that ES fish had not spawned, whereas LS fish had begun spawning. The smallest mature female captured was 56 mm SL (age 1+). Mean potential fecundity differed significantly between ES (mean±1 SD=1832±572 oocytes) and LS (mean±1 SD=775±415 oocytes) specimens. Potential fecundity was positively correlated with both standard length and somatic mass for both ES and LS specimens. Oocyte diameter frequency histograms indicated that ES specimens possessed two modes of oocytes, whereas LS fish contained two or three modes. Female longnose dace appeared to spawn more than once during a reproductive season. Oocyte number varied substantially both among individuals within periods and between periods. The number of Mode II oocytes in ES fish was positively correlated with both length and somatic mass. Female longnose dace appeared potentially capable of spawning 6+ clutches per year. GSI values for longnose dace ranged from a high of 21.4% (LS specimen) to 2.4% (ES specimen). Regression analysis demonstrated that there was no evidence of differential reproductive effort between longnose dace of different size in this population.