The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Mooneye – Have You Seen This Fish?

Your help is needed for the conservation of the rare mooneye. Mooneye are listed as a threatened species in New York, which prohibits their importation, transportation, possession or sale.

Accidental captures of mooneye do occur and if caught should be released immediately. DEC and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are tracking any catches or sightings to aid mooneye conservation. Any reports of accidental catch or sightings can be made to the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at 518-402-8887 or Please include the following information in your report:

  • Your name, phone number, and email address
  • Date, time, and location of the catch or sighting
  • Photograph of the fish (if possible)

Mooneye Identification

he mooneye is a medium-sized fish, usually reaching 10-14 inches in length and 1-2 pounds in weight. It has a flattened body (like a sunfish) with very silver scales (like a shiner). Mooneye can often be mistaken for members of the herring/shad family and suckers.

Distinguishing characteristics include:

  • Large, prominent eyes and a short snout
  • Smooth, rather than saw-edged, silvery scales on the belly
  • Teeth on the tongue and on the middle of the roof of the mouth
  • Small stiff flap located at the base of the pelvic fin
  • Dorsal fin even with or slightly ahead of anal fin; the river herring dorsal fin is much further forward than the anal fin

(Photo: teeth on a Mooneye tongue Source: Illinois DNR)

Visit our website for more information on mooneye.

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