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Montana Field Guides

Largescale Sucker - Catostomus macrocheilus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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General Description
The largescale sucker is native to Montanas western drainage. Like the previously mentioned suckers, it is present in both rivers and lakes. In Montana, the maximum size in this species is usually less than 5 pounds. The food habits of largescale suckers are similar to those of other suckers.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Back and sides dark olive gray, changing abruptly to white or yellowish on underside. Dorsal fin usually has 13 to 15 rays, its base is long. Scales are medium sized, 62 to 80 in lateral line.

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1333

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Upstream migration accompanies spawning.

Habitat
Found in both streams and lakes. Spawns in gravel riffles with strong current or along lake margins (Brown 1971, Huston et al. 1984, Weisel 1957).

Food Habits
Eats almost any available organism found on the substrate (Brown 1971).

Ecology
Have decreased in abundance below Libby dam due to colder water temperatures delaying spawning (May and Huston 1979). Young rear in quiet backwaters or lakes.

Reproductive Characteristics
Sexually mature in 4-5 years - some males in 3 years. Spawns April - May. No parental care. Eggs stick to bottom and hatch in 2 weeks (Brown 1971).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Brown, C.J.D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 207 pp.
    • Huston J.E., P. Hamlin; B. May 1937-; Montana. Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.; United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Seattle District. 1984
    • May, B.E. and J.E. Huston. 1979. Status of fish populations in the Kootenai River below Libby dam. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. 57 pp.
    • Weisel, G.F. 1957. Fish guide for intermountain Montana. Montana State University Press. Missoula, MT. 88 pp.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Nelson, M.L. 1999. Evaluation of the potential for resident bull trout to reestablish the migratory life-form. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 72 p.
    • Rahrer, J.F. 1963. Age and growth of four species of fish, Flathead Lake, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 16 p.
    • Schoenthal, N.D. 1963. Some effects of DDT on cold water fish and fish-food organisms. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 47 p.
    • Sylvester, R. and B. Marotz. 2006. Evaluation of the Biological Effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment on the Fisheries Upstream and Downstream of Hungry Horse and Libby Dams, Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of EnergyBonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00 Contract No. 28350. 124 p.Contract No. 28350
    • Sylvester, R. and B. Stephens. 2011. Evaluation of the physical and biological effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment upstream and downstream of Libby Dam, Montana. Libby, MT: Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of Energy Bonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00, Contract Nos. 43309 and 48555. 282 p.
    • Sylvester, R., A. Steed, J. Tohtz, and B. Marotz. 2008. Evaluation of the Biological Effects of the Northwest Power Conservation Council's Mainstem Amendment on the Fisheries Upstream and Downstream of Hungry Horse and Libby Dams, Montana. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Annual Report prepared for U.S. Department of EnergyBonneville Power Administration. Bonneville Power Administration Project No. 2006-008-00 Contract No. 28350. 124 p.Contract No. 28350
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Citation for data on this website:
Largescale Sucker — Catostomus macrocheilus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from