Fishing Ontario Canada


Distribution in the local Area:

Hound Lake, Little Coot Lake,


Nocomis, a native American name given the genus by Gerard (perhaps from the Ojibwe, nôkomiss, "grandmother"; used by Longfellow in the "Song of Hiawatha") biguttatus, from the Latin, "two spotted"

Common Name from numerous spiny tubercles developed during the spawning period, on the head of males, from the snout to well behind the eyes.

Other common names include: Chub, Horned Chub, Hornyhead, Indian Chub, Jerker, Redtail Chub, River Chub


Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata, animals with a spinal chord
Subphylum Vertebrata, animals with a backbone
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Subclass Neopterygii
Infraclass Teleostei
Superorder Ostariophysi
Order Cypriniformes, minnows and suckers
Family Cyprinidae, carps and minnows
Genus Nocomis, hornyhead chubs
Until recently, listed under the genus Hybopsis. The sub-genus Nocomis was then raised to genus status and is now considered more closely related to Semotilus than to Hybopsis.


A large minnow of creeks and small rivers


to 12"
males typically 6"-9"
females smaller


dark lateral band from eye to base of tail, terminating in a prominent black spot
olive brown on the back above lateral band
silvery on the sides below lateral band
creamy belly
distinctive red patch behind each eye in breeding males
pinkish-bluish wash with prominent white tubercles on head in breeding males
orange-colored dorsal and anal fins


stout bodied
dorsal fin of 8 rays, set slightly behind the pelvic fin
pectoral fins of 14 to 16 rays
pelvic fins of 8 rays
anal fin of 7 rays
complete lateral line of 38 to 48 large scales
scales along the back and upper sides may appear cross hatched.


large, slightly oblique, and terminal mouth
distinct barbel on the posterior tip of the jaw
hooked pharyngeal teeth on broad arches in a 1, 4-4, 1 pattern


Distinguished from the similar Creek Chub by:
barbel at the posterior end of the jaw
complete lateral line of 38 to 48 large scales (49-64 in Creek Chub).
anal fin of 7 rays (8 in Creek Chub).


Clear, small to medium-sized streams with sand and gravel bottoms, near riffle areas but away from the current, especially in areas of aquatic vegetation.
Rare in lakes, though occasionally found there near mouths of small creeks


Young initially feed on zooplankton, switching to fish, crayfish, aquatic insects, algae, and plants as adults.


Used occasionally as a bait fish.


Spawning occurs from late May through June. A nest is constructed by the male which moves materials away from an area 1'-2' in diameter, then piles pebbles in the cavity to a height of 6". At spawning, several hundred eggs drop between the pebbles in the nest, protected from predation by the surrounding gravel.
Although the male hornyhead will drive off others of the same species, it tolerates other kinds of fish. Blacknose dace, common shiner, and stoneroller minnows, among others, will also use these nests for spawning.
During the spawning period, males develop spiny tubercles on the head from the snout to well behind the eyes which give rise to the common name.