Distribution in the area:
Baldcoot Lake, Balfour Lake,
Baptiste Lake, Bark Lake, Batelle Lake, Bird Lake, Cannon
Lake, Diamond Lake, Faraday Lake, Gin Lake, Horse Lake,
Hound Lake, Jamieson Lake, Jimmies Lake, Kamaniskeg
Lake, Lake St. Peter, Lavellee Lake, Limerick Lake,
Little Coot Lake, Lower Paudash Lake, Mayo Lake, Mink
Lake, Tait Lake, Weslemkoon Lake, Wollaston Lake,
Catostomus, from the Greek,
"subterminal mouth" commersoni, in honor of
French naturalist Philibert Commerson (1727-1773)
Other common names include: Bay Fish, Black Mullet,
Black Sucker, Brook Sucker, Coarse-scaled Sucker, Common
Sucker, Eastern Sucker, Fine-scaled Sucker, Grey Sucker,
June Sucker, Mud Sucker, Mullet, Slender Sucker, Sucker
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
Order Cypriniformes, minnows and suckers
Family Catostomidae, suckers
Genus Catostomus, common suckers
Known to hybridize with closely related catostomids.
A slender, fine-scaled sucker
found in most lakes
2 to 4 lbs
dark greenish, grey, coppery
brown through brown to black on back
sides with brassy or silvery luster
creamy white on lower sides and below
dorsal and tail fin dusky to clear
dorsal fin straight or slightly
concave, with 10-13 rays
anal fin of 7 rays
pelvic fin of 10-11 rays
lips fleshy and heavy, with
numerous small, wart-like projections
Breeding males may become very dark colored and develop
tubercules over the head, fins, and body.
Distinguished from other suckers
and redhorses by a complete lateral line containing
55-85 small scales.
Highly adaptable to differing
habitats and changing environmental influences, it is
relatively tolerant of turbid and polluted waters.
bottom feeder, with aquatic insect larvae, small mollusks,
crustaceans, and various terrestrial worms preferred.
Will, however, take almost any food that is available
With fleshy mouth aimed downward, they vacuum up worms,
clams and, some say, the eggs of other fish.
A natural prey species for Northern Pike, Muskellunge,
Walleye, Sauger, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass.
Most are caught accidentally
by anglers fishing with worms on the bottom of streams
Though the meat is firm and good tasting, white sucker
seldom appears on a restaurant menu -- lacks market
appeal. Processed in a variety of ways for the market,
often as "mullet."
Juveniles often raised as food in the propagation and
rearing of predatory fish. Often sold as bait fish,
where they are typically known as "sucker minnows".
Spawning commences with migratory
spring runs that may be initiated by runoff from early
snow melt. Actual spawning occurs in late spring when
water temperature ranges from 57º to 68º F.
Spawning takes place in swift or flowing water over
bottoms of rubble or gravel. Adhesive eggs are broadcast
at random and incubate 5 to 7 days.
Spawning males are gregarious, occupying spawning shoals
before the females. Several males may spawn a single
female; often times two males spawn a single female
similar to the behavior of redhorses.
A large female can produce some 100,000 eggs.
excellent native fish for garden ponds, referred to
as "sucker minnows" when purchased as "live