Catostomus platyrhynchus - (Cope, 1874)
Mountain Sucker
Synonym(s): Pantosteus platyrhynchus
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Catostomus platyrhynchus (Cope, 1874) (TSN 163909)
French Common Names: meunier des montagnes
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105140
Element Code: AFCJC02160
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Suckers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Catostomidae Catostomus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Catostomus platyrhynchus
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the genus Pantosteus, which now is regarded as a subgenus of Catostomus (Smith 1966). Includes P. lahontan and P. jordani, which formerly were regarded as separate species. P. lahontan and P. jordani may deserve recognition as subspecies of C. platyrhynchus (Moyle et al. 1989). Hybridizes with other Catostomus species: C. ardens, C. commersoni, C. discobolus, and C. tahoensis (Smith 1966).

See Cook (2000) for a discussion of the occurrence and taxonomy of suckers of the subgenus Pantosteus from Provo River and "Cottonwood Creek," Utah.

See Smith (1992) for a study of the phylogeny and biogeography of the Catostomidae.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 19Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (09Feb2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (S3), Colorado (S2?), Idaho (S5), Montana (S5), Nebraska (S1), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (S4), South Dakota (S3), Utah (S4), Washington (S2S3), Wyoming (S5)
Canada Alberta (S4), British Columbia (S2S3), Saskatchewan (S1)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):T,SC,NAR
Comments on COSEWIC: This species was previously considered a single unit and designated Not at Risk in 1991. In November 2010, it was reassessed and split into three populations.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Range extends from the Saskatchewan River system (Hudson Bay basin), Saskatchewan and Alberta, and Fraser River drainage, British Columbia, south through the upper Missouri and Colorado River drainages to southern Colorado and Utah, and through the Columbia River drainage, Oregon; Lahontan basin, Oregon, Nevada, and California; and upper Sacramento River system, northeastern California (Page and Burr 2011). This species apparently is native to but extirpated in western pluvial Lake Bonneville basin in eastern Nevada (Andersen and Deacon 1996). It is introduced and common in the Duchesne River, Utah; rare elsewhere in the Colorado River drainage; also introduced in the Price River (Sigler and Sigler 1996).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000. This fish is common in the center of its range (Page and Burr 2011). It is abundant in Blacksmith Fork River in northern Utah (Sigler and Sigler 1996). Thriving and resilient populations exist in Birch Creek, Lost Creek, and Woodruff reservoirs in northeastern Utah, where headwater tributaries are relatively pristine (Wydoski and Wydoski 2002). It is less common in Canada (Scott and Crossman 1973, Campbell 1992) and apparently also in Washington (see Wydoski and Wydoski 2002).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Populations in California and some other areas have been adversely affected by loss of spawning habitat in streams above reservoirs, predation and competition from introduced fishes, hybridization with other suckers, alterations to riparian zones, or a combination of these factors (Erman 1986, Decker 1989). Reservoirs result not only in habitat loss but also fragment populations and make them more vulnerable to extirpation (Moyle et al. 1989). Populations may initially thrive in impoundments but later decline below pre-impoundment abundance (Erman 1986, Decker 1989).

In Missouri River drainages in Wyoming, land management and irrigation practices increased turbidity and siltation in many streams, resulting in declines (Patton et al. 1998).

The several widely scattered and diverse viable populations in western Canada do not seem to be under any threat (Campbell 1992).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Indications of declining populations in the historical range have been reported for California (Decker 1989, Erman 1986).

In Missouri River drainages in Wyoming, mountain sucker populations declined in 12 of 18 sites, 11 of 15 streams, 8 of 10 subdrainages, and 5 of 15 drainages (Patton et al. 1998).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Moyle et al. (1989) recommended that some streams in the Lahontan drainage of California be managed specifically to maintain the native biotic community, which includes this species as well as the Lahontan speckled dace and mountain whitefish.

Distribution
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Global Range: Range extends from the Saskatchewan River system (Hudson Bay basin), Saskatchewan and Alberta, and Fraser River drainage, British Columbia, south through the upper Missouri and Colorado River drainages to southern Colorado and Utah, and through the Columbia River drainage, Oregon; Lahontan basin, Oregon, Nevada, and California; and upper Sacramento River system, northeastern California (Page and Burr 2011). This species apparently is native to but extirpated in western pluvial Lake Bonneville basin in eastern Nevada (Andersen and Deacon 1996). It is introduced and common in the Duchesne River, Utah; rare elsewhere in the Colorado River drainage; also introduced in the Price River (Sigler and Sigler 1996).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, CO, ID, MT, NE, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NE Box Butte (31013)*, Dawes (31045)*, Sioux (31165)*
NV Elko (32007)*
SD Butte (46019), Custer (46033), Fall River (46047), Lawrence (46081), Meade (46093), Pennington (46103)
WA Asotin (53003)+, Chelan (53007)+, Cowlitz (53015)+, Kittitas (53037)+, Yakima (53077)+
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Beaverhead (10020002), Ruby (10020003), Madison (10020007), Gallatin (10020008), Upper Missouri (10030101), Upper Missouri-Dearborn (10030102), Smith (10030103), Sun (10030104), Belt (10030105), Marias (10030203), Teton (10030205), Judith (10040103), Upper Musselshell (10040201), Middle Musselshell (10040202), Flatwillow (10040203), Box Elder (10040204), Lower Musselshell (10040205), Peoples (10050009), Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001), Upper Yellowstone (10070002), Shields (10070003), Upper Yellowstone-Lake Basin (10070004), Stillwater (10070005), Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006), Upper Yellowstone-Pompeys Pillar (10070007), Pryor (10070008), Upper Wind (10080001), Little Wind (10080002), Popo Agie (10080003), Lower Wind (10080005), Badwater (10080006), Upper Bighorn (10080007), Nowood (10080008), Greybull (10080009), Big Horn Lake (10080010), Shoshone (10080014), Lower Bighorn (10080015), Little Bighorn (10080016), Upper Tongue (10090101), Lower Tongue (10090102), Middle Fork Powder (10090201), Upper Powder (10090202), South Fork Powder (10090203), Crazy Woman (10090205), Clear (10090206), Little Powder (10090208), Lower Yellowstone-Sunday (10100001), Rosebud (10100003), Lower Yellowstone (10100004), Angostura Reservoir (10120106), Beaver (10120107), Hat (10120108)+, Middle Cheyenne-Spring (10120109)+, Rapid (10120110)+, Middle Cheyenne-Elk (10120111)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201), Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Upper White (10140201)+, Niobrara Headwaters (10150002)+*, Upper Niobrara (10150003)+*
14 Colorado headwaters (14010001), Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005), Parachute-Roan (14010006), Upper Gunnison (14020002), North Fork Gunnison (14020004), Lower Gunnison (14020005), Uncompahange (14020006), Upper Green (14040101), New Fork (14040102), Upper Green-Slate (14040103), Big Sandy (14040104), Bitter (14040105), Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106), Blacks Fork (14040107), Muddy (14040108), Vermilion (14040109), Upper Yampa (14050001), Little Snake (14050003), Muddy (14050004), Upper White (14050005), Piceance-Yellow (14050006), Lower Green-Diamond (14060001), Ashley-Brush (14060002), Duchesne (14060003), Strawberry (14060004), Price (14060007), San Rafael (14060009), Fremont (14070003), Escalante (14070005)
16 Upper Bear (16010101), Central Bear (16010102), Bear Lake (16010201), Middle Bear (16010202), Little Bear-Logan (16010203), Lower Bear-Malad (16010204), Lower Weber (16020102), Utah Lake (16020201), Provo (16020203), Jordan (16020204), Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306), Pilot-Thousand Springs (16020307)+*, Upper Sevier (16030001), East Fork Sevier (16030002), Middle Sevier (16030003), San Pitch (16030004), Lower Sevier (16030005), Escalante Desert (16030006), Upper Humboldt (16040101), Middle Humboldt (16040105), Reese (16040107), Lower Humboldt (16040108), Upper Quinn (16040201), Lake Tahoe (16050101), Truckee (16050102), Upper Carson (16050201), Middle Carson (16050202), Carson Desert (16050203), East Walker (16050301), West Walker (16050302), Walker (16050303), Walker Lake (16050304), Spring-Steptoe Valleys (16060008)
17 Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010), Wenatchee (17020011), Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016), Upper Yakima (17030001), Naches (17030002), Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003), Snake headwaters (17040101), Greys-Hobock (17040103), Palisades (17040104), Salt (17040105), Idaho Falls (17040201), Lower Henrys (17040203), Willow (17040205), American Falls (17040206), Blackfoot (17040207), Portneuf (17040208), Salmon Falls (17040213)+*, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103), Crooked-Rattlesnake (17050109), Boise-Mores (17050112), Lower Boise (17050114), Powder (17050203), Lower Grande Ronde (17060106), Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107), Palouse (17060108), Upper Salmon (17060201), Little Salmon (17060210), Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula (17070101), Upper John Day (17070201), Beaver-South Fork (17070303), Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001), Upper Cowlitz (17080004), Lower Cowlitz (17080005), Middle Fork Willamette (17090001), Coast Fork Willamette (17090002), Upper Willamette (17090003), Mckenzie (17090004), North Santiam (17090005), South Santiam (17090006), Middle Willamette (17090007), Yamhill (17090008), Molalla-Pudding (17090009), Tualatin (17090010), Clackamas (17090011), Lower Willamette (17090012), Alvord Lake (17120009)
18 Middle Fork Feather (18020123), Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: See Snyder and Muth (1990) for a guide to the identification of larvae and early juveniles.
Reproduction Comments: Females usually sexually mature in 4-5 years, males in 2-3 years. Each female produces 900-4000 eggs, depending on her size (Brown 1971). Spawning occurs late spring-early summer when the water temperature is 11-19 C (Smith 1966). Spawned from late May through June at 9-11 C in Utah (Wydoski and Wydoski 2002).
Ecology Comments: May be a sensitive indicator of native fish and invertebrate assemblages. Forms schools, sometimes with other sucker species.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Limited upstream spawning migrations may occur (Moyle 1976). In Utah, individuals migrated from Lost Creek Reservoir and spawned in Lost Creek (Wydoski and Wydoski 2002).
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This sucker appears to prefer clear, cold creeks and small to medium rivers with clear rubble, gravel or sand substrate. Apparently it favors pool-like habitats in some areas (e.g., California), faster water in other regions (Moyle et al. 1989). Rarely is it found in lakes. Young usually inhabit slower moving waters in side channels, or weedy backwaters. In some areas, juveniles tend to occur closer to reservoirs than do adults. The species is most abundant where there is some form of cover in the water (used as daytime refuge). Spawning occurs over gravel riffles in streams. In Lost Creek, Utah, over 75% of suckers spawned in riffles that were 11-30 cm deep where water velocities were 6-20 cm/second (Wydoski and Wydoski 2002).
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Feeds mostly on algae and diatoms; also consumes some invertebrates (especially true of juveniles). Scrapes food from rocks with its cartilaginous lower jaw.
Length: 18 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Restoration Potential: In Wyoming, watershed enhancement resulted in establishment of a mountain sucker population in four years (R. Wiley, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, pers. comm., cited by Wydoski and Wydoski 2002).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Small Suckers

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Mapping Guidance: It is important to evaluate migrations and seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that spawning areas and nonspawning areas for a single population are not artificially segregated as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Data on dispersal and other movements generally are not available. In some species, individuals may migrate variable distances between spawning areas and nonspawning habitats.

Separation distances (in aquatic kilometers) for catostomids are arbitrary but reflect the presumption that movements and appropriate separation distances generally should increase with fish size. Hence small, medium, and large catostomids, respectively, have increasingly large separation distances. Separation distance reflects the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of aquatic habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.

Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 10 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied represent different occurrences. However, it is important to evaluate seasonal changes in habitat to ensure that an occupied habitat occurrence for a particular population does not artificially separate spawning areas and nonspawning areas as different occurrences simply because there have been no collections/observations in an intervening area that may exceed the separation distance.

Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: This Specs Group includes catostomids that typically are less than 20 cm in adult standard length.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Dec2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 27Oct2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Andersen, M. E., and J. E. Deacon. 1996. Status of endemic non-salmonid fishes in eastern Nevada. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 29:124-133.

  • Atton, F.M. and J.J. Merkowsky. 1983. Atlas of Saskatchewan Fish. Saskatchewan Department of Parks and Renewable Resources, Fisheries Branch Technical Report 83-2. 281pp.

  • Brown, C. J. D. 1971. Fishes of Montana. Big Sky Books, the Endowment and Research Foundation, Montana State University, Bozeman. MT. 207 pp.

  • Campbell, R. E. 1992. Status of the mountain sucker, Catostomus platyrhynchus, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 106(1):27-35.

  • Cook, A. G. 2000. Suckers of the subgenus Pantosteus from Provo River and "Cottonwood Creek", Utah. American Midland Naturalist 143:422-432.

  • Decker, L. M. 1989. Coexistence of two species of sucker, Catostomus, in Sagehen Creek, California, and notes on their status in the western Lahontan Basin. Great Basin Naturalist 49(4):540-551.

  • Erman, D. C. 1986. Long-term structure of fish populations in Sagehen Creek, California. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 115:682-692.

  • Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. 405 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. Revised and expanded. University of California Press, Berkeley. xv + 502 pp.

  • Moyle, P. B., J. E. Williams, and E. D. Wikramanayake. 1989. Fish species of special concern of California. Final report submitted to California Dept. of Fish and Game, Inland Fisheries Division, Rancho Cordova. 222 pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Patton, T. M., F. J. Rahel, and W. A. Hubert. 1998. Using historical data to assess changes in Wyoming's fish fauna. Conservation Biology 12:1120-1128.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management. 1996. The Fisheries Regulations being Chapter F-16.1 Reg 1 (effective 9 May 1995) as ammended by Saskatchewan Regulations 13/96.

  • Scott, W. B., and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Bulletin 184. 966 pp.

  • Smith, G. R. 1966. Distribution and evolution of the North American catostomid fishes of the subgenus Pantosteus, genus Catostomus. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Miscellaneous Publication 129:1-33.

  • Smith, G. R. 1992. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Catostomidae, freshwater fishes of North America and Asia. Pages 778-826 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Snyder, D. E., and R. T. Muth. 1990. Description and identification of razorback, flannelmouth, white, Utah, bluehead, and mountain sucker larvae and early juveniles. Colorado Division of Wildlife Technical Publication No. 38. 152 pp.

  • Wydoski, R. G., and R. S. Wydoski. 2002. Age, growth, and reproduction of mountain suckers in Lost Creek Reservoir, Utah. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:320-328.

  • Wydoski, R. S., and R. R. Whitney. 1979. Inland fishes of Washington. The University of Washington Press, Seattle. 220 pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Baxter, G. T., and J. R. Simon. 1970. Wyoming fishes. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 168 pp.

  • Holton, G. D., and H. E. Johnson. 1996. A field guide to Montana fishes. 2nd edition. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State Parks and wildlife Interpretive Association, Helena, Montana. 104 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Master, L. L. 1996. Synoptic national assessment of comparative risks to biological diversity and landscape types: species distributions. Summary Progress Report submitted to Environmental Protection Agency. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia. 60 pp.

  • Master, L. L. and A. L. Stock. 1998. Synoptic national assessment of comparative risks to biological diversity and landscape types: species distributions. Summary Report submitted to Environmental Protection Agency. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. 36 pp.

  • Miller, W. H., H. M. Tyus, and C. A. Carlson. 1982. Fishes of the upper Colorado system: present and future. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 131 pp.

  • Simpson, J. and R. Wallace. 1982. Fishes of Idaho. The University Press of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho. 238 pp.

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