• Family: Catostomidae (Suckers)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: None
• Adult Size: Typically 15-20 inches, can reach 25 inches. Usually weigh 2-4 pounds, can reach 10 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Small crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates, protozoa, and filamentous algae.
River carpsuckers have a small sub-terminal (ending below tip of snout) mouth. The back is not very arched resulting in a more slender body shape than other carpsuckers and the lateral line is nearly straight. They are silvery on the sides with a white belly and the lower fins can be orange or yellow. The tail and dorsal fins are gray to silver in color. The first several rays of the dorsal fin do not form a very long quill. They differ from the quillback carpsucker by having a fleshy knob (right photo) on the front edge of the lower lip and are not as deep bodied as the highfin carpsucker.
Habitat and Habits
River carpsuckers are found in large rivers and backwaters or over flow pools of those large rivers. In Ohio they are found in the Ohio River and its larger tributaries. River carpsuckers tend to stay in deeper water than highfin carpsuckers and do not go in smaller streams like the quillback carpsucker.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
River carpsuckers spawn between early April and late May. The eggs are randomly deposited over a sand or gravel bottom. No parental care is given.