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Hitch (Lavinia exilicauda)

The Hitch or Lavinia exilicauda is a freshwater fish that is commonly found in California. It is from the Cyprinid family which has over 2,400 species in it, making it the largest freshwater fish family. Hitch used to be very commonly caught in California, but nowadays they are few and far between.

Hitch fish have a small head and a mouth that is always pointing upwards so they can feed off the surface of the water. Their bodies are silver all over when they are adults, but as juveniles they can have a black spot on their tail that fades with age. You can differentiate Hitch from other minnows by their longer anal fin and a dorsal fin that is further towards their forked tail.Hitch can reach about 36cm which is quite large for an minnow. They are easily confused with the Golden Shiner who has similar body characteristics. Hitch are omnivores that normally feed on insects, algae, and zooplankton. You will run across these fish in lakes and slow moving areas of rivers. This species of Minnow can tolerate warm and cool waters and can also survive in slightly salty waters as well. These fish used to be quite common to catch but recent damning and water diversion has divested their spawning grounds. Hitch fish can live for about 4-6 years. If you have any more information about Hitch that you would like to share please leave us a comment!

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