Catostomus macrocheilus

Identification Tips:

• Adults bronze in colour with whitish belly
• Juveniles brown to olive green with dark patches and whitish belly
• Large scales; usually has fewer than 75 along the lateral line
• Dorsal fin: 12-17 (usually 13-16) rays.
• Short snout when viewed from below, scarcely projects beyond the upper lip.
• The only sucker in the Fraser Valley that exceeds 30 cm in size

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Not at Risk (Yellow List)Not AssessedNoneG5, S5

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre:

Life History:

• Mature in 4th or 5th year and may live more than 11 years.
• May exceed 60 cm in length
• Young feed on zooplankton and small invertebrates
• Adults feed on algae, mollusks and other invertebrates.
• Spawn in late spring.
• Preyed upon by fish eating birds and by eagles, and bears during spawning.


•Occurs in lakes and in slow moving pools and runs of medium to large rivers.
•Spawn in gravel riffles of streams or gravel shoals of lakes
•Juveniles rear in shallow areas of lakes, in pools and ponds of smaller creeks and in side channels of larger rivers


British Columbia
•Widespread in southern two-thirds of Province
•Absent from smaller coastal drainages including Nicomekl, Serpentine and Little Campbell Rivers in the Fraser Valley

•From BC and Alberta south to Idaho, Nevada and Oregon
•Isolated population in Mackenzie River, Northwest Territories


•The most common sucker in southern half of BC

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.