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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Shorthead Redhorse - Moxostoma macrolepidotum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
The shorthead redhorse is native to Montana and typically found in the shallow, swift waters of larger rivers in our eastern drainage. Its maximum size in Montana is about 5 pounds. Their natural silver-green coloration is offset by bright red fins. Shorthead redhorse are frequently caught on baited hooks.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Sides golden or silvery, back olive to brown with golden reflections, underside white to yellow. No other Montana sucker has a red tail fin.

Species Range
Montana Range


Western Hemisphere Range


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2588

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



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

Moderately large rivers with sand, gravel or rocky bottom, intermediate temperatures, and swift current.

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Citation for data on this website:
Shorthead Redhorse — Moxostoma macrolepidotum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from