• Family: Catostomidae (Suckers)
• Other Names: Redhorse, sucker
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 12-18 inches, can reach 26 inches. Usually weighs 1-2 pounds, can reach 4.5 pounds.
• Typical Foods: Larval insects, snails, small mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates.
The golden redhorse has an olive-colored back and white belly with gold to bronze sides and a slate gray tail. Their dorsal fin is slightly concave (curves in toward body). The rear edge of the golden redhorse lips forms a slight "V" shape. There are 39-42 scales found along their lateral line. The black redhorse is more slender in appearance with the back edge of the lips forming a straight line and they have 44-47 scales along their lateral line. Silver redhorse are very deep bodied, the rear edge of their lower lips form a deep "V", and have a convex (outwardly rounded) dorsal fin. Ohio's other four species of redhorse have red tails.
Habitat and Habits
The golden redhorse is found throughout Ohio and can be found in all but the smallest streams and rivers. They also are found in Lake Erie and larger reservoirs that have a stream or river feeding them. They are the most common and least sensitive to poor environmental conditions of Ohio's seven species of redhorse.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Golden redhorse spawn in April and May when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They make large migrations from larger rivers and reservoirs to smaller streams where they spawn at night in shallow riffles. Two males will press a single female between them while all three fish vibrate as eggs and sperm are released. They provide no parental care. The young can often be seen in large schools, often a mix of various redhorse species, feeding along a sandy bottom in pools.