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Lake Chubsucker

Lake Chubsucker of North America

The Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) is a freshwater fish belonging to the Erimyzon genus, part of the Catostomidae family. Native to North America.

Description of the Lake Chubsucker

Lake Chubsucker

A medium sized minnow averaging 10 inches in length. Generally, have dark olive-green bodies, silvery to gold sides and a green to yellow belly. While having a stubby body, large scales, a suctorial mouth, thick lips, and a short, blunt snout.

The Lake Chubsucker has small eyes located towards the top of their head. Generally, the dorsal fin consists of 10 – 12 fin rays. The anal fin has a straight edge which becomes bilobed on a breeding male fish.

Further, the juvenile fish have a prominent dark stripe along their sides which changes into a series of vertical bars as they mature. Their lateral stripe consists of 34 – 39 lateral scales.

Biology of the Lake Chubsucker

The Lake Chubsucker inhabits lakes, wetlands, ponds, swamps, floodplain lakes, sloughs, and rarely streams. Prefers warmer waters ranging from 82°F to 93°F.

Often remaining in still water with low turbidity and high levels of vegetative cover.

Prefer shallow freshwater over sand or silt substrates mixed with organic debris.

Distribution

Found in the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin as far north as Ontario in Canada extending south to the Gulf of Mexico. West to Wisconsin and Texas and east to South Virginia and South Florida. While extirpated from southern Illinois, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. Populations in Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio, and Tennessee have declined.

Management and Conservation

Currently the Lake Chubsucker is neither listed as threatened or endangered. Therefore, receives little conservation concerns. However, some research has been done to determine its usefulness in improving the growth of largemouth bass, a popular sporting fish.

Meanwhile, the Lake Chubsucker faces habitat disturbance due to siltation caused by agriculture, coal ash spills and range decline especially among populations in Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Other reasons for decline in numbers include habitat destruction and modification, changing levels of turbidity in water, changing sedimentation levels, altering nutrient levels, coal combustion, pollution and toxins, introduction of exotic and invasive species.

 

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