Catostomus microps - Rutter, 1908
Modoc Sucker
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Catostomus microps Rutter, 1908 (TSN 163907)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101328
Element Code: AFCJC02140
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 microps
Taxonomic Comments: Systematic relationships and taxonomic status of various sucker populations in northeastern California merit further study (Moyle 2002). Results of such studies might alter the distribution and conservation status of the Modoc sucker.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 27Oct2011
Global Status Last Changed: 19Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Small range in two small watersheds in northeastern California and one in southeastern Oregon; populations are small but stable; endangered status resulted from population isolation and vulnerability to extirpation, stream channelization, grazing of stream banks, water diversions that reduce habitat and increase temperature, and predation by non-native brown trout; recent restoration efforts have improved habitat and reduced threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (23Oct2007)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S2), Oregon (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R8 - California-Nevada
IUCN Red List Category: EN - Endangered
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-5000 square km (about 100-2000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the upper Pit River system, Modoc and Lassen counties, northeastern California, including a few streams in the Ash Creek watershed and several creeks in the Turner Creek watershed; also the Thomas Creek drainage, in the Goose Lake sub-basin, in Oregon (Moyle 2002, USFWS 2009).

Area of Occupancy: 21-100 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: There are approximately 40 miles (64 kilometers) of suitable habitat within their range and most of that is occupied (USFWS 2009).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: The current distribution includes 10 streams in three sub-drainages (USFWS 2009).

Population Size: 1000 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Adult population size is incompletely known (USFWS 2009) but likely is at least a few thousand.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: The Ash Creek and Turner Creek watersheds are widely separated from each other and from the Goose Lake basin population; all have large enough drainages that extirpation due to natural causes is unlikely if the watersheds remain in good condition (Moyle 2002). However, in Ash Creek the formerly widespread Modoc sucker now occurs in small isolated headwaters in which local extirpation is a threat (Moyle 2002).

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats historically included habitat loss and degradation from water diversion for irrigation and dewatering of meadows too soggy for grazing, stream channelization (eliminates pools, facilitates invasion by introduced species), and grazing of livestock (removes riparian vegetation, increases stream downcutting and sedimentation); and predation by introduced brown trout (Moyle 2002). Threats now have been greatly reduced (USFWS 2009; see following).

"Present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat by land management activities is no longer considered a threat to the continued existence of the Modoc sucker. Habitat conditions in designated Critical Habitat and other occupied streams have steadily improved since listing and have sustained populations of Modoc suckers for at least 23 years. Furthermore, land management practices employed on public and private lands since the early 1980's are expected to continue, or improve, thereby maintaining upward habitat trends." Source: USFWS (2009).

"...predation by existing non-native fishes is an important conservation concern for Modoc sucker populations, in particular predation by brown trout in the Rush Creek drainage and by largemouth bass in the Turner Creek drainage. It is reassuring that Modoc suckers have maintained their populations in the presence of these non-native piscivore populations for over 30 years, that ongoing suppression of non-native fishes has been highly effective, that largemouth bass are apparently not able to establish stable extensive populations in upper Turner Creek, that the Washington Creek population has been considerably protected by a reservoir screen, and that the Modoc sucker is now known to occupy three separate sub-drainages, one of which (Thomas Creek) contains no non-native fishes. Nevertheless, the continued possibility of major influxes of largemouth bass into Turner Creek from unscreened upstream reservoirs on Modoc National Forest could combine with other adverse conditions (e.g., drought and lack of active monitoring/predator suppression) to extirpate the principal Turner Creek population at a time when tributary populations dependent on refuge habitat in Turner Creek are also stressed. While the probability of this happening is low, continued monitoring and control of non-native predators can ensure that they do not pose a substantial threat to the Modoc sucker." Source: USFWS (2009).

"Despite any hybridization that has occurred in the past, the Modoc sucker maintains its morphological and ecological distinctiveness, even in populations showing low levels of introgression, and is clearly distinguishable from the Sacramento sucker using morphological characteristics....Therefore, given the observed low-levels of observed introgression in nine known streams dominated by Modoc suckers, the absence of evidence for extensive ongoing hybridization in the form of first generation hybrids, the fact that Modoc and Sacramento suckers are naturally sympatric, and the continued ecological and morphological integrity of Modoc sucker populations, hybridization is not considered a threat to Modoc sucker populations." Source: USFWS (2009).

"...the Modoc suckers range-wide persistence through the substantial droughts of the last century indicates that drought is not likely to threaten the Modoc sucker with extinction. We are unable at this time to predict how climate change will exacerbate the effects of drought. Conservation of perennial spring-fed stream reaches and connectivity to perennial main stem streams, as well as promotion of subsurface-fed pool habitats that hold water through drier periods, are crucial to the long-term survival of the Modoc sucker. Current land management by both public and private land managers and focus on protecting and enhancing riparian corridors are positive mechanisms for maintaining the refuge habitat necessary for long-term persistence of self-sustaining Modoc sucker populations." Source: USFWS (2009).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Populations appear to have been relatively stable over the 35 years that the species has been monitored; additionally, the species has occupied most of the available habitat (USFWS 2009).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: See management information.

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-5000 square km (about 100-2000 square miles)) Range includes the upper Pit River system, Modoc and Lassen counties, northeastern California, including a few streams in the Ash Creek watershed and several creeks in the Turner Creek watershed; also the Thomas Creek drainage, in the Goose Lake sub-basin, in Oregon (Moyle 2002, USFWS 2009).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, OR

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Lassen (06035), Modoc (06049)
OR Lake (41037)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Goose Lake (18020001)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+
+ 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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Basic Description: A fish (sucker), rarely more than 13 inches long.
Reproduction Comments: Spawning occurs in spring (mid-April to early June) (Moyle 2002). Most individuals mature in their third year. The oldest known Modoc sucker was 5 years old (Moyle 2002).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates upstream to spawn (Moyle 2002).
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes pools of small, often intermittent, headwater streams of moderate gradient flowing through meadows and dry forests at elevations of 1,286-1,567 meters; streams are characterized by low summer flows, high spring flows fed by snowmelt, good riparian vegetative cover of overhanging trees and shrubs, mud- and rock-bottomed pools, and moderately clear water less than 25 C (Moyle and Marciochi 1975, Moyle 2002). Large individuals tend to be in deep pools near vegetative cover, whereas smaller ones are more often among rocks in shallower areas (Moyle 2002). This species is rare in areas dominated by riffles and in channelized sections. Spawning occurs over fine gravel in the lower ends of pools or in riffles, after migration upstream into small tributaries; these creeks may be dry in summer.
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Over 75% of diet comprises detritus and algae; remainder made up of aquatic insect larvae and crustaceans (Moyle and Marciochi 1975).
Length: 19 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview:
Management Requirements: Barriers to upstream movement of Sacramento suckers have been installed on lower Johnson and Turner creeks (Moyle 2002). California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service, and USFWS cooperated in reintroducing Modoc suckers into Turner Creek (following poisoning to remove C. occidentalis), and stream improvement measures have been instituted (Moyle 2002). BLM removal of riparian areas from grazing along many streams has improved cover for suckers and water quality (Matthews and Moseley 1990, Moyle 2002). Key habitat on private land in Dutch Flat creek was purchased, and habitat improvements have been made (Moyle 2002). Electrofishing to remove exotic species occurs on regular basis (California Department of Fish and Game 1990). Management also has included the salvage of fishes affected by dessication of streams caused by drought (USFWS 1990).

Management needs include rehabilitation of streams on private land, elimination of brown trout and other non-native species, and, where feasible, restoration of Modoc suckers to additional tributaries to Ash Creek (Moyle 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: 27Oct2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 23Oct2007
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
  • California Department of Fish and Game (CDF&G). 1990. 1989 annual report on the status of California's state listed threatened and endangered plants and animals. 188 pp.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • 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.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • Minckley, W. L., and J. E. Deacon. 1991. Battle Against Extinction: Native Fish Management in the American West. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. xviii + 517 pp.

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

  • Moyle, P. B. 1976c. Some effects of channelization on the fishes and invertebrates of Rush Creek, Modoc County, California. California Fish and Game 62:179-186.

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

  • Moyle, P. B., and A. Marciochi. 1975. Biology of the Modocsucker, Catostomus microps, in northeastern California. Copeia 1975(3):556-560.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 11 June 1985. Determination of endangered status and critcal habitat for the Modoc sucker. Federal Register 50(112):24526-24530.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program: report to Congress. 406 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2009. Modoc sucker (Catostomus microps) 5-year review: summary and evaluation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • 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.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996b. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia: Export of freshwater fish and mussel records west of the Mississippi River in 1997. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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