Longnose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus) - Native?

Adult longnose sucker.

An adult longnose sucker. Robert J. Eakins photo.

Identification. Similar to the white sucker. Streamlined, cylindrical body. Lower lip has numerous small bumps (papillae). Snout extends well ahead of mouth. Posterior end of mouth extends back beyond nostrils. Complete lateral line. Scales oval-shaped and small (lateral line scales greater than 85). Dorsal rays 10. Adults may be reddish brown, dark green or nearly black on the back, fading to white on the belly. Young usually have small dark spots. Males develop red lateral stripe during spawning.

Size. Commonly 8 to 15 inches elsewhere in their range. State survey max. size 9 inches. Max. reported size 25 inches.

Distribution. Widespread over northern North America. Have been found in only one Connecticut stream, the Konkapot River. They are more common in neighboring Western Massachusetts.

Longnose sucker distribution map.

All maps created in 2009. See CT DEEP Fish Community Data for updated distributions.

Habits. Prefer clean, cold streams with gravel bottoms.

Comments. Recent attempts to find longnose suckers in Connecticut have failed. It is uncertain whether our state ever had any permanent native populations or whether they are merely occasional migrants from Massachusetts. They are listed as a Species of Special Concern in Connecticut.


Text and images adapted from Jacobs, R. P., O'Donnell, E. B., and Connecticut DEEP. (2009). A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Hartford, CT. Available for purchase at the DEEP Store.