The Rappahannock, Saulteaux and Muscago and Fraser River Indigenous Peoples are reported to have eaten common carp [1, 2]. The Saulteaux and Muscago preserved common carp for later use by suspending them by their tails in the open air to dry .
Lake chub were eaten by the Coast Salish (Katzie) . The Spokane, Kalispel, Fort Nelson Slave (Dene) and Coast Salish were reported to eat chub [4-7], which was also likely lake chub. The Kalispel used weirs (barrier traps built from fir balsam branches, into sloughs) to catch chub .
The Kootenai, Lillooet, Thompson (N'laka'pamux), Kutenai, and Shuswap were reported to eat peamouth [8-11]. The Kootenai caught them using traps . Lillooet and Shuswap children caught them for fun . Thompson caught peamouth in spring in upland lakes and ate them fresh.
Fathead minnows are reported to have been eaten by the Red Earth Cree of Saskatchewan .
Goldfish were reported to have been eaten by the Kalispel .
Shiners, of unspecified species, were reported to have been consumed by the Kalispel of the Midwest  and the Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) of Vancouver Island [14, 15]. The Nootka caught the fish in low stone weirs at low tide. In late summer, they used a drive called satca’oph, where canoes with fir boughs weighted over the sides would form a line across a cove to gather the fish; they would then be collected with herring rakes and dip nets [14, 15].
Redside shiners are reported to have been caught by Kootenai of the Plateau region .
Spottail shiner were available to the Red Earth Cree of Saskatchewan .
Northern pikeminnows, previously called squawfish, were available in spring to the Lillooet and Shuswap of British Columbia . They were reported to have used set-lines or hemp lines with baited hooks, spears with leisters or traps . The Kootenai (or Kutenai) of British Columbia consumed pikeminnows, mostly in times of scarcity [9, 10]. The Kalispel caught pikeminnows using weirs (traps) made of fir balsam boughs . The Southern Okanagan were reported to have speared pikeminnows in the winter night using a torch from a canoe; a torch was fashioned of cedar or pitch pine shavings wrapped in a ball, soaked in pitch and tied to the end of a pole. The fish was also caught using a dip net .
Cutlip minnows are reported to have been consumed by Onondaga Iroquois. The preferred method of preparation was frying with bear or deer grease .
1. Harmon DW. In: Sixteen Years in the Indian Country The Journal of DW Harmon. edn. Edited by Lamb WK. Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited; 1957.
2. Speck FG, Hassrick RB, Carpenter ES: Rappahannock Taking Devices: Traps, Hunting and Fishing. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Anthropological Society; 1946.
3. Suttles W, Jenness D: Katzie Ethnographic Notes / The Faith of a Coast Salish Indian. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum; 1955.
4. Honigmann JJ: Ethnography and Acculturation of the Fort Nelson Slave, vol. Yale University Publications in Anthropology Number 33. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1946.
5. Lahren SL, Jr.: Kalispel. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. edn. Edited by Walker DE, Jr. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998: 283-288.
6. Ross JA: Spokane. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. edn. Edited by Walker DE, Jr. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998: 271-282.
7. Suttles W: Coast Salish Essays, vol. 1st edition. Seattle: University of Washingtion Press; 1987.
8. Hayden B: A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau: Traditional Stl'atl'imx Resource Use. Vancouver: UBC Press; 1998.
9. Hewes GW: Fishing. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. edn. Edited by Walker DE, Jr. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998: 620-636.
10. Turney-High HH: Ethnography of the Kutenai. Menasha, Wisconsin: American Anthropological Association; 1941.
11. Wyatt D: Thompson. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. edn. Edited by Walker DE, Jr. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998: 191-202.
12. Kew M: Salmon Availability, Technology and Cultural Adaptation in the Fraser River Watershed. In: A Complex Culture of the BC Plateau: Traditional XXXXX Resource Use. edn. Edited by Hayden B. Vancouver: UBC Press; 1992: 177-221.
13. Meyer D: Appendix I: Plants, Animals and Climate; Appendix IV: Subsistence-Settlement Patterns. In: The Red Earth Crees, 1860-1960. Volume 1st edition, edn.: National Musem of Man Mercury Series; 1985: 175-185-200-223.
14. Arima E, Dewhirst J: Nootkans of Vancouver Island. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast. edn. Edited by Suttles W. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1990: 391-397.
15. Drucker P: The Northern and Central Nootkan tribes. Washington,D.C.: Government Printing Office; 1951.
16. Kennedy D, Bouchard RT: Lillooet. In: Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. edn. Edited by Walker DE, Jr. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998: 174-190.
17. Post RH: The Subsistence Quest. In: The Sinkaietk or Southern Okanagan of Washington. edn. Edited by Spier L. Menasha, Wisconsin, U. S. A.: George Banta Publishing Company Agent; 1938: 11-33.
18. Waugh FW: Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation, vol. No. 12; Anthropological Series. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau; 1916.
Minnows represent an extremely diverse family of freshwater fish that is closely related to the sucker family. Minnows are scaled and toothless and have only one dorsal fin. They possess a keen sense of smell and hearing, which helps them evade their numerous predators, such as many species of larger fish, as well as birds. Minnows are very popular as bait fish . North American minnows include two introduced species from Asia, the common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and the goldfish (Carassius auratus), as well as many native species including lake chub (Couesius plumbeus), peamouth (Mylocheilus caurinus) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), redside (Richardsonius balteatus) and spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), and cutlips minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua).
The common carp is found in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Their French common name is carpe. They have many large scales, are compressed laterally, and have reddish lower fins. This fish has a sucker-like mouth with two sets of whiskers. Common carps are often found schooling in lakes and rivers with abundant vegetation. They can live for 20-year and weigh over 20 kg .
The lake chub is the most widespread native minnow, occurring throughout most of North America. They are brownish on the back and silvery on the sides with a dark lateral line. They are found in most lakes, rivers, and streams and feed mainly on aquatic invertebrates .
The peamouth is found in British Columbia and northwestern states. They are slender and silvery in appearance. Peamouths can grow to over 30 cm long and can live for more than 10 years. They are most often in schools, found along the vegetated bottom of shallow lakes and slow-flowing rivers. They feed mainly on insects and are eaten by many fish-eating birds and mammals .
The fathead minnow is a found in southern Canada and throughout most of United States. They rarely grow much bigger than 10 cm long and are able to tolerate conditions other fish could not, like stagnant, turbid, and hot waters .
The goldfish is found throughout United States and in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. They have many large scales, display radiant colors patterns, and can grow to around 25 cm long. They are differentiated from the common carp by having no whisker or barbel on their chin .
The redside shiner is found along the Pacific coast of United States and in British Columbia. They are deep-bodied with a dark lateral line running from the snout to the tail fin. Their dorsal fin is placed far on the back and during spawning both sexes have metallic gold and red on their head, fins, and sides .
The spottail shiner has the northernmost distribution of its genus. They are found in western Quebec, Ontario, including all of the Great Lakes, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and in the Mackenzie River system. They have large scales and are slender and silvery with some shades of yellow. They are differentiated from other small minnows by having a black spot on the base of the tail .
The northern pikeminnow is found mainly in the drainage systems from British Columbia to Oregon and not further east than Peace River in Alberta. Northern pikeminnows have a long body covered in tiny scales and a rather long and pointed head with a large mouth. They can grow quite big, up to almost 1 m long. They are most often found in lakes and are predatory fish feeding mainly on other fish .
The cutpils minnow is found mostly along the Atlantic coast, from the St. Lawrence River drainage in Quebec to North Carolina. They grow to around 15 cm long and are distinguished by their three-lobed lower jaw. Cutlips minnows are found in clear water with rocky bottoms free of vegetation .
1. Wooding FH: Lake, river and sea-run fishes of Canada. Madeira Park, BC, Canada: Harbour Publishing; 1997.
2. "Mylocheilus caurinus Richardson, 1836." [http://eol.org/pages/994612/overview]
3. "Pimephales promelas Rafinesque, 1820." [http://eol.org/pages/211492/]
4. "Exoglossum maxillingua Lesueur 1817." [http://eol.org/pages/994798/details]