River Carpsucker - Carpiodes carpio
The river carpsucker has a widespread distribution in warm-water prairie streams, rivers and reservoirs. Only a few individuals reach the largest weight of about 10 pounds. All suckers have long intestines, which is an adaptation for processing detritus and plant material in addition to the insects, snails and clams they pick up from stream and lake bottoms. The chief value of suckers is as forage and bait for sport fishes. Most fishermen believe that suckers compete with trout, but most species of fish that have evolved together as these have developed mechanisms to minimize competition. River carpsuckers are occasionally caught on hook and line.
Sides silvery, back brown to olive, underside white. Lower fins white.
Western Hemisphere Range
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
May make extensive spawning runs to larger tributary streams e.g., Marias River, Tongue River.
Reservoirs and the pools and backwaters of rivers. Spawn in larger streams with backwater areas.
Mostly diatoms and filamentous algae from the stream bottom, but also aquatic invertebrate larvae make up a large portion of the diet.
Downstream portions of Yellowstone River important as rearing areas. A schooling fish.
Spawns May - July over vegetation along shorelines of reservoir and quiet areas of streams. Incubation: 8-15 days. Sexually mature at 2-3 yrs. Spawn peaks in June on middle Missouri River.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Barfoot, C.A. 1993. Longitudinal distribution of fishes and habitat in Little Beaver Creek, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 66 p.
- Clancey, C.G. 1978. The fish and aquatic invertebrates in Sarpy Creek, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 54 p.
- Craig, V.E. 1952. A story of fish production as it applies to Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 92 p.
- Mullen, J.A. 2007. Spatiotemporal variation of fish assemblages in Montana prairie streams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 102 p.
- Mullins, M.S. 1991. Biology and predator use of cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 68 p.
- Penkal, R.F. 1977. Black bass populations of the Tongue River Reservoir, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 111 p.
- Rosenthal, L.R. 2007. Evaluation of distribution and fish passage in relation to road culverts in two eastern Montana prairie streams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 78 p.
- Stash, S.W. 2001. Distribution, relative abundance, and habitat associations of Milk River fishes related to irrigation diversion dams. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 82 p.
- Stevenson, H.R. 1975. The trout fishery of the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
- Stringer, A.L. 2018. Status of Northern Pearl Dace and chrosomid dace in prairie streams of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 150 p.
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