Monday April 11, 2011
This fish has an interesting name, “hitch” (Lavinia exilicauda), derived from the Pomo Indian word for fish. Hitch are a native cyprinid endemic to central California, and were once a common and historically important food source for Native Americans. They are well adapted to Central Valley conditions; they can withstand water temperatures greater than 86°F (30°C) and have been found living in brackish water with salinities as high as 9 parts per thousand (freshwater is usually 0.5 ppt, while ocean water averages 35 ppt). Unfortunately, populations have declined throughout their range likely due to the proliferation of non-native baitfish, such as threadfin shad and inland silverside.
Photo source: FISHBIO