Spoonhead Sculpin - Cottus ricei
The Spoonhead Sculpin is another native Montana Fish of Special Concern due to its limited Montana distribution (Montana AFS Species Status Account
). Spoonhead Sculpin are found only in the St. Mary and Waterton river drainages of Glacier National Park, which ultimately drain into Hudson Bay. They inhabit deep lakes, as well as streams, and provide forage for Lake Trout, Burbot, and other species.
Spoonhead Sculpin are light brown with two to four saddles under the second dorsal fin. The underside is whitish. No palatine teeth are present. The body is slender. One pore is located on the midline under the tip of the chin. Prickles, often dense, may cover the entire body, but sometimes are sparse or absent. No other Montana sculpin has the "bison horn" spine on the gill cover.
Western Hemisphere Range
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Habitat includes small, swift streams to larger rivers, and the shallows and deep water of lakes. They have been taken at depths of over 100 feet.
Most likely, planktonic crustaceans in deep lakes and aquatic insect larvae in inshore regions figure prominently in the diet.
They are probably important forage for deep-dwelling fishes.
Recent evidence suggests that spawning occurs in late summer or early fall.
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society species status accounts.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Houston, J. 1990. Status of the spoonhead sculpin, Cottus ricei, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 104:14-19.
- Potter, R. L., and G. W. Fleischer. 1992. Reappearance of spoonhead sculpins (Cottus ricei) in Lake Michigan. J. Great Lakes Res. 18:755-758.