Minnow is usually a term used for any small fish such as baitfish, but minnows are in fact a family of fish called Cyprinidae, which is the largest group of freshwater fish. The most commonly recognized species in Cyprinidae is the common carp. In British Columbia, native species in Cyprinidae include peamouth chub, northern pikeminnow, largescale sucker, redside shiner. In total, there are over 2,000 species of Cyprinidae around the world. They are characterized by the absence of the adipose fin and their scaly body.

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