Banded Killifish 2019


The Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanous) is a small fish that are generally between the size of a stickleback (a.k.a. pinfish) and a brook trout. They have an olive like color with alternating lighter and darker stripes on their sides stretching from their back to their stomach.  Although banded killifish are found throughout Atlantic Canada and into Manitoba, there are only seven documented locations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of the seven sites, six are in coastal southwestern Newfoundland, and the other is northeastern Newfoundland.

The lack of information about where the banded killifish are found has presented an opportunity for us to do more research on developing a better understanding of other locations and the habitat preference for the Newfoundland population. During the 2016 field season, Qalipu Natural Resources (QNR) staff discovered banded killifish in a remote, high elevation pond in the Bay of Islands region. This discovery led to an expansion in sampling effort throughout the Bay of Islands region for the 2017 season. The 2018 sampling season went well with the continued survey and monitoring of Banded Killifish in the pond in which they were discovered in 2016. Although our sample size was small, we were still able to learn more about this interesting species. As we observed last year, adjusting our trapping times helped with our trapping success. In addition to this, we also learned about bait preference of banded killifish. After talking with other banded killifish researchers, we learned that banded killifish prefer Ritz crackers over No Name soda crackers.

We are happy with our repeated findings in the Bay of Islands this year and are already making plans for the upcoming season. With the knowledge we have gained from last season, we hope that this upcoming season will be our most successful yet. This year we are planning to continue monitoring where we find banded killifish within the pond, throughout the year. Stay tuned for our next killifish update.

This is an Environment and Climate Change Canada funded project. For More information about Banded Killifish, please visit