Bigmouth Buffalo - Ictiobus cyprinellus
The Bigmouth Buffalo has a more terminal mouth, (that is, opening at the front of the head), which allows it to feed on plankton as well as bottom organisms and detritus. These barrel-shaped fish are rarely taken on hook and line. Bigmouth Buffalo can produce hundreds of thousands of eggs and live over 20 years.
Usually dark colored (brownish or blackish), often with a coppery sheen; sometimes greenish or gray. Underside whitish or yellow; fins dark.
Western Hemisphere Range
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Make long spawning movements from lower Missouri River to upstream areas. Dispersal downstream follows.
Large rivers and reservoirs. Spawn in larger streams with backwater areas.
Plankton, crustaceans, and diptera larvae are the major food items.
Downstream portions of Yellowstone River important as rearing areas. Adults school.
Can reach 112 years of age (Lackmann et al. 2019). Spawns May - July at 60 degrees F. in shallow water. Sexual mature at 3 yrs. Spawns over bottom or on vegetation. Incubation: 8 - 14 days. Spawn peaks early to mid June on middle Missouri River.
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Lackmann, A.R., A.H. Andrews. M.G. Butler, E.S. Bielak-Lackmann, and M.E. Clark. 2019. Bigmouth Buffalo Ictiobus cyprinellus sets freshwater teleost record as improved age analysis reveals centenarian longevity. Communications Biology 2(1):1-14.
- Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Musuem of Natural History. 867 p.
- Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman. 1973. Rainbow trout, Kamloops trout, Steelhead trout Salmo gairdneri Richardson. pp. 184-191. In: Freshwater fishes of Canada. Ottawa, Canada: Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Dieterman, D.J., M.P. Ruggles, M.L. Wildhaber, and D.L. Galat (eds). 1996. Population structure and habitat use of benthic fishes along the Missouri and Lower Yellowstone Rivers. 1996 Annual report of Missouri River Benthic Fish Study PD-95-5832 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 238 p.
- Duncan, M.B. 2019. Distributions, abundances, and movements of small, nongame fishes in a large Great Plains river network. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 255 p.
- Joslin, Gayle, and Heidi B. Youmans. 1999. Effects of recreation on Rocky Mountain wildlife: a review for Montana. [Montana]: Montana Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
- 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.
- 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.
- USDI Bureau of Land Management. No date. Fishes of the Miles city, Montana BLM District. Miles City, MT: Miles City BLM District pamphlet. 12 p.
- Wuellner, M.R. 2007. Influence of reach and watershed characteristics on fish distributions in small streams of eastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
- Young, B.A., T.L. Welker, M.L. Wildhaber, C.R. Berry, and D. Scarnecchia (eds). 1997. Population structure and habitat use of benthic fishes along the Missouri and Lower Yellowstone Rivers. 1997 Annual report of Missouri River Benthic Fish Study PD-95-5832 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 207 p.
- Additional Sources of Information Related to "Fish"