Moxostoma valenciennesi - Jordan, 1885
Greater Redhorse
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Moxostoma valenciennesi Jordan, 1885 (TSN 163947)
French Common Names: chevalier jaune
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101488
Element Code: AFCJC10170
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Suckers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Catostomidae Moxostoma
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 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: Moxostoma valenciennesi
Taxonomic Comments: Harris and Mayden (2001) used molecular data to examine phylogenetic relationships of major clades of Catostomidae. In all trees, Scartomyzon was paraphyletic and embedded in Moxostoma, and Catostomus was never recovered as monophyletic (Xyrauchen was embedded within Catostomus). They concluded that the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic composition of taxa presently included in Moxostoma and Scartomyzon are in need of further study, as are the relationships and composition of the genera Catostomus, Chasmistes, Deltistes, and Xyrauchen, and the phylogenetic affinites of Erimyzon and Minytrema.

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

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Feb2001
Global Status Last Changed: 20Feb2001
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Discontinuous range in the northcentral and northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada; apparently over 100 occurrences (subspopulations) and locations, but the condition of occurrences is estimated to be only fair to good over much of range, and the status of many occurrences is unknown; range and abundance have declined over the past 50 years, due largely to stream siltation, pollution, and other habitat degradation; currently some populations appear stable, due to water quality improvements; still considered moderately threatened or status unknown over much of range; abundant only in isolated, localized sites; peripheral and isolated populations are highly vulnerable.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (20Feb2001)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (28Dec2017)

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 Illinois (S1S2), Indiana (S2), Kentucky (SX), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (S3?), New York (S3S4), North Dakota (S2), Ohio (S2), Vermont (S1), Wisconsin (S3)
Canada Ontario (S3), Quebec (S3S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Medium) (26Jan2015)
American Fisheries Society Status: Vulnerable (01Aug2008)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Quebec and Vermont to southern Ontario and northern Minnesota, and south to the Ohio River, Kentucky; records for Red River (North Dakota) and Lake of the Woods (Minnesota) are old (Page and Burr 1991, Becker 1983, Lee et al. 1980, Jenkins and Jenkins 1980, Jenkins 1970). Apparently extirpated in Kentucky (Hocutt and Wiley 1986). As of 1993, extant in Ohio, North Dakota, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ontario, and Quebec. In Wisconsin, occurs in scattered areas within the Mississippi and Lake Michigan drainage basins (Becker 1983). In Michigan, occurs in the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Shiawassee, Cass, Black, Mainstee, and AuSable rivers (Latta 1998). In Minnesota, has been found in the Upper Mississippi, Crow Wing, Red (James Underhill, pers. comm., 1993), and Cannon (L. Gates, pers. comm., 1990, A. Stevens, pers. comm., 1989) rivers and in the Lake of the Woods (Jenkins, pers. comm.). In Ohio, occurs in Bad Creek (Yoder and Beaumier 1986), the Sandusky, Ottawa, St. Joseph and Auglaize rivers, and the Maumee River system (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). In Illinois occurs in the Fox and Vermillion rivers, and the upper Illinois River at the mouths of the Fox and Vermillion rivers (Burr et al. 1996, Glen Kruse, pers. comm., 1998). In Indiana, known from the Wabash, St. Josephs, Eel, St. Mary's, Iroquois, and Maumee rivers, and Pawpaw and Squirrel Creeks (Simon 1992, Brant Fisher, pers. comm., 1998). In North Dakota recorded from the Red (extirpated ?), Sheyenne, and Maple rivers (Ryckman 1981). In Kentucky, collected from the Ohio River (area adjacent to Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1888, but has never since been observed in the state (Burr and Warren 1986). Never reliably recorded from Pennsylvania although the state is often listed as part of the species distribution (Schiffer, pers. comm.). As of 1972, known from 23 Quebec rivers and lakes (Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998).

Number of Occurrences: 21 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Based on occurrence and rank information from the United States and Canada, appears to occur at over 100 locations. However, the condition of occurrences ranges from fair to good or unknown over much of the range. The New York Natural Heritage Program has recorded six occurrences, but only two are believed to be extant; not extensively surveyed (Paul Novak, pers. comm., 1998). Believed to be extirpated from Illinois for several decades, now regularly found in three locations; the condition of occurrences is estimated to be 50% good and 50% fair (Glen Kruse, pers. comm., 1998). Known from five Ohio Basins; the condition of occurrences is estimated to be excellent in the Sandusky and Auglaize rivers, fair in the Ottawa and St. Joseph rivers, and poor in the Maumee River, last surveyed in 1997 (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). The Indiana Heritage Program has recorded two extant occurrences and two additional occurrences of unknown status, but there may be 21-100 total occurrences; the condition of Indiana occurrences is estimated to be 50% good and 50% fair (Brant Fisher, pers. comm., 1998). In Quebec known from 23 localities, but not surveyed since 1972; water quality has improved since the 1980s and the condition of Quebec occurrences is estimated to be 10% good, 70% fair, and 20% poor (Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998). The North Dakota Heritage Program has recorded five occurrences of unknown status, a peripheral species with few records (Kathy Duttenhefner, pers. comm., 1998). The Michigan Heritage Program has recorded 14 occurrences (Jeffrey Cooper, pers. comm., 1998); during a 1997 Michigan survey, collected at 41 sites in nine rivers [this may represent fewer than 41 occurrences], and considered widespread and abundant (Latta 1998). The Wisconsin Heritage Program estimates 21-100 occurrences with approximately 13 occurrences in excellent condition and the remainder of occurrences in poor condition (Bill Smith, pers. comm., 1998). The Ontario Heritage Program has applied a rank of S3, typically 21-100 occurrences. Information is not available from Minnesota and Vermont.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Abundance information is limited to general statements and estimates of the number of individuals or occupied stream miles. This information indicates that abundance is probably well over 10,000 individuals globally, but that large populations are limited to a few localized sites. According to Page and Burr (1991), uncommon to rare and disappearing from southern parts of the range. Jenkins (1970) also stated that this fish generally is uncommon or rare. More recently, sampling and identification techniques have improved and observations indicate that it is relatively common and abundant in isolated and scattered areas (John Lyons, James Underhill, and Greg Seegert, pers. comm., 1993). In Wisconsin one occurrence may consist of 1,000 individuals, but within a small, isolated and potentially fragile area (John Lyons, pers. comm., 1993). According to Greg Seegert (pers. comm., 1993), at least 100,000 to 1,000,000 individuals globally, but locally abundant in only a few places. During a 1997 Michigan survey of major rivers, this species appeared to be widespread and abundant (Latta 1998). The number of occupied stream miles has been estimated by some heritage programs--approximately 100-150 river miles in Illinois (Glen Kruse, pers. comm., 1998), 190 river miles in Ohio (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998), and about 100 river miles in Indiana (Brant Fisher, pers. comm., 1998). Occupies approximately 645 river miles in Quebec, but not surveyed since 1972 (Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Extirpated or significantly reduced in numbers throughout most of historic range as the result of siltation, increased turbidity, and other forms of point and nonpoint source pollution (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998; Wisconsin Bureau of Endangered Resources 1990; Becker 1983). Lyons (pers. comm., 1990) suggested that moderate levels of siltation may be tolerated, but only in areas where currents are sufficiently strong to keep substrates free of embedded silt. Due to susceptibility to siltation and chemical pollutants, small populations are vulnerable and may be reduced or extirpated by isolated, destructive events (Becker 1983). Also threatened by habitat fragmentation, loss of suitable feeding and spawning areas, and blockage of spawning migration routes by stream channelization, dam construction, and river impoundments (Hocutt and Wiley 1986; Greg Seegert and Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1990). Even populations with large numbers are highly vulnerable due to isolation and fragmentation (Greg Seegert, John Lyons, Chris Yoder, pers. comm., 1993). Additionally, carp control projects, or similar projects in which rough fish are controlled, threaten survival by impeding movement into spawning grounds. A project of this sort conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources may have eliminated a population in Waupaca County, Wisconsin (Becker 1983). Apparently taken rarely by anglers (Becker 1983). Although Becker (1983) stated that overharvesting does not seem to pose a threat to the species, Hocutt and Wiley (1986) stated otherwise. Low numbers are commercially harvested in Quebec (Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998). The degree of threat has been estimated by heritage programs to be not very threatened in Illinois and Quebec to moderately threatened in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana (Glen Kruse, Pierre Aquin, Brant Fisher, Bill Smith, and Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). Information on the degree of threat was not provided by heritage programs in the remainder of the range.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Has declined significantly over the past 50 years, but more recently, numbers may have stabilized in portions of the range, owing to pollution control (John Lyons and Greg Seegert, pers. comm., 1993, Pierre Aquin and Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). According to Greg Seegert (pers. comm., 1993), globally stable particularly in the heart of the range (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan), with slight declines at the southern periphery of the range. Currently, considered stable by the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Quebec heritage programs (Glen Kruse, Brant Fisher, Bill Smith, and Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998). In Ohio, stable in the Sandusky River, slightly declining in the Auglaize River, declining in the Ottawa and Maumee rivers, and trends are unknown in the St. Joseph River (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). During a 1997 Michigan survey, collected at 41 sites and appeared to be widespread and abundant (Latta 1998).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Surveys have been recently conducted in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan; surveys are needed in the remainder of the range to determine current distribution. It would be worthwhile to monitor selected populations across the range to determine trends in abundance and distribution.

Protection Needs: Adequate protection from erosion problems and protection from point-source pollutants throughout the watershed is needed to protect both feeding and spawning areas. Broad riparian buffer strips, stiff pesticide application laws, upland erosion control practices, and modern pollution control systems should be implemented within watersheds containing this species. In Ohio, non-point pollution abatement within the Huron/Erie Lake Plain ecoregion is necessary (Thoma pers. comm. 1990), as are reductions elsewhere.

Distribution
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Global Range: Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Quebec and Vermont to southern Ontario and northern Minnesota, and south to the Ohio River, Kentucky; records for Red River (North Dakota) and Lake of the Woods (Minnesota) are old (Page and Burr 1991, Becker 1983, Lee et al. 1980, Jenkins and Jenkins 1980, Jenkins 1970). Apparently extirpated in Kentucky (Hocutt and Wiley 1986). As of 1993, extant in Ohio, North Dakota, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ontario, and Quebec. In Wisconsin, occurs in scattered areas within the Mississippi and Lake Michigan drainage basins (Becker 1983). In Michigan, occurs in the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Shiawassee, Cass, Black, Mainstee, and AuSable rivers (Latta 1998). In Minnesota, has been found in the Upper Mississippi, Crow Wing, Red (James Underhill, pers. comm., 1993), and Cannon (L. Gates, pers. comm., 1990, A. Stevens, pers. comm., 1989) rivers and in the Lake of the Woods (Jenkins, pers. comm.). In Ohio, occurs in Bad Creek (Yoder and Beaumier 1986), the Sandusky, Ottawa, St. Joseph and Auglaize rivers, and the Maumee River system (Roger Thoma, pers. comm., 1998). In Illinois occurs in the Fox and Vermillion rivers, and the upper Illinois River at the mouths of the Fox and Vermillion rivers (Burr et al. 1996, Glen Kruse, pers. comm., 1998). In Indiana, known from the Wabash, St. Josephs, Eel, St. Mary's, Iroquois, and Maumee rivers, and Pawpaw and Squirrel Creeks (Simon 1992, Brant Fisher, pers. comm., 1998). In North Dakota recorded from the Red (extirpated ?), Sheyenne, and Maple rivers (Ryckman 1981). In Kentucky, collected from the Ohio River (area adjacent to Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1888, but has never since been observed in the state (Burr and Warren 1986). Never reliably recorded from Pennsylvania although the state is often listed as part of the species distribution (Schiffer, pers. comm.). As of 1972, known from 23 Quebec rivers and lakes (Pierre Aquin, pers. comm., 1998).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States IL, IN, KYextirpated, MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, VT, WI
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IL Clark (17023), DeKalb (17037), Grundy (17063), Kane (17089), Kendall (17093), La Salle (17099), Livingston (17105), Mchenry (17111)
IN Allen (18003), Cass (18017), De Kalb (18033), Elkhart (18039), Huntington (18069), Jasper (18073), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087)*, Miami (18103), Parke (18121), St. Joseph (18141), Starke (18149), Sullivan (18153)*, Vermillion (18165), Vigo (18167)*, Wabash (18169)
ND Cass (38017)*, Ransom (38073)*, Richland (38077)*
OH Allen (39003), Auglaize (39011), Defiance (39039), Fulton (39051), Henry (39069), Lucas (39095), Paulding (39125), Putnam (39137), Sandusky (39143), Seneca (39147), Williams (39171), Wyandot (39175)
VT Franklin (50011), Orleans (50019)
WI Barron (55005), Brown (55009), Burnett (55013), Calumet (55015), Chippewa (55017), Columbia (55021), Dane (55025), Douglas (55031), Dunn (55033), Eau Claire (55035)*, Fond Du Lac (55039), Iowa (55049)*, Iron (55051), Jefferson (55055), Kewaunee (55061), Manitowoc (55071), Marinette (55075), Marquette (55077), Milwaukee (55079), Oconto (55083), Oneida (55085)*, Ozaukee (55089), Polk (55095), Price (55099), Rock (55105), Rusk (55107), Sawyer (55113), Sheboygan (55117), St. Croix (55109), Vernon (55123)*, Vilas (55125), Walworth (55127), Washburn (55129), Washington (55131), Waukesha (55133), Waupaca (55135), Waushara (55137)*, Winnebago (55139)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lamoille (02010005), Great Chazy-Saranac (02010006)*, Missisquoi (02010007)
04 Manitowoc-Sheboygan (04030101)+, Door-Kewaunee (04030102)*, Duck-Pensaukee (04030103)+, Oconto (04030104)+, Peshtigo (04030105)+, Upper Fox (04030201)+, Wolf (04030202)+, Lake Winnebago (04030203)*, Lower Fox (04030204)+, Pike-Root (04040002)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Kalamazoo (04050003), Upper Grand (04050004), Maple (04050005), Lower Grand (04050006), Thornapple (04050007), Pere Marquette-White (04060101), Muskegon (04060102), Manistee (04060103), Au Sable (04070007), Tittabawassee (04080201), Pine (04080202), Shiawassee (04080203), Flint (04080204), Cass (04080205), St. Clair (04090001), St. Joseph (04100003)+, St. Marys (04100004)+, Upper Maumee (04100005)+, Tiffin (04100006)+, Auglaize (04100007)+, Blanchard (04100008)+, Lower Maumee (04100009)+, Sandusky (04100011)+, Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103), Niagara (04120104), Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)*, Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)*, Seneca (04140201), Upper St. Lawrence (04150301), Oswegatchie (04150302)*, Indian (04150303), Grass (04150304)*, Raquette (04150305)*, St. Regis (04150306)*, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+, St. Francois River (04150500)+
05 Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103)*, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)*, Upper Wabash (05120101)+, Eel (05120104)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+
07 Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Namekagon (07030002)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)*, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Flambeau (07050002)+, Lower Chippewa (07050005)+, Eau Claire (07050006)+*, Red Cedar (07050007)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003), Upper Wisconsin (07070001)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Copperas-Duck (07080101), Upper Rock (07090001)+, Crawfish (07090002)+, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Des Plaines (07120004)*, Upper Illinois (07120005)+, Upper Fox (07120006)+, Lower Fox (07120007)+, Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake (07130001), Vermilion (07130002)+
09 Bois De Sioux (09020101), Upper Red (09020104)+, Lower Sheyenne (09020204)+
+ 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 (redhorse, sucker); adults usually around 46 cm long, maximum 80 cm.
General Description: Jenkins and Jenkins (1980) described the greater redhorse in the St. Lawrence River as follows: "Adults of M. valenciennesi are readily identifiable in clear shallows. They are large suckers with large scales, stout body, large head with inconspicuous breeding tubercles, dark back, coppery to yellowish sides, base of each dorsal and lateral scale with a dark crescent, median fins nearly entirely red or only red-margined, paired fins with conspicuous yellowish free margin in some specimens, reddish orange in others. A moderate amount of individual variation in color was obvious. The dorsum of some specimens was tannish olive; others had a grayish cast. Smaller specimens tended to have red more widely distributed in median fins; a few of the larger specimens had little or no red apparent. Color of nuptial adults did not differ from that of non-breeding adults; sexual dichromatism was absent."

Another description, based on museum specimens, was provided by Becker (1983): "Body elongate to moderately stout, almost round in cross section; ventral aspect slightly curved. Adult length about 460 mm (18 in.). TL = 1.23 SL. Depth into SL 3.6-4.2. Head into SL 3.7-4.4 (3.3-3.7 in young up to 76 mm). Snout slightly to moderately rounded, but not overhanging mouth ventrally. Mouth large, ventral and horizontal lips; lips deeply plicate, folds smooth surfaced except occasionally 'wrinkled' on lateral portion of lower lip; lower lip broader than upper lip; lower lip often appearing swollen; lower halves forming an obtuse angle (100-160 degrees). Pharyngeal teeth heavy, about 55 per arch (80 according to Jenkins 1970); crown of each tooth with pronounced cusp on anterior edge; arch moderately strong, symphysis short. Dorsal fin concave (in young) to slightly convex (in adults); dorsal fin base into SL 4.9-5.3, length of base about 3/4 the distance from back of head to dorsal fin base; dorsal fin rays 13-14 (11-15); anal fin rays 7; pelvic fin rays 9 (8-10). Lateral line scales 42-45 (41-45); lateral lines complete. Scales around caudal peduncle 16 (14-17).

"Back brown olive with bronze overcast; sides more golden; belly whitish. Dorsal, caudal, and anal fins red in life (fade to gray in formalin and alcohol); anterior rays of pelvic and pectoral fins whitish, remainder reddish. Scales with dark spots at their anterior exposed bases.

"Breeding male with minute tubercles on entire dorsal and lateral surfaces of head and on body scales. Large tubercles on rays of lower lobe of caudal fin, fewer on rays of upper lobe. Breeding female with small and bluntly tipped tubercles on all fins except dorsal, but less widely distributed and generally smaller than in male; tubercles absent from female body, except on lower caudal peduncle."

The greater redhorse is the largest of the redhorses (WI BER 1990). Adults frequently exceed 2 kg (4.4 lbs) (Becker 1983), topping out around 5.9 kg (13 lbs) (Dymond et al. 1929).

See also Jenkins (1970).

Reproduction Comments: Reproduction information is largely from a single study in the St. Lawrence River (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980); see also Mongeau et al. (1992) and Becker (1983).

Spawning occurs in May or June throughout most of the range (Scott 1967). Within the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River, spawning occurred during late June and early July, when water temperatures reached 16.7-18.9 C (Jenkins 1970). The spawning dates in the St. Lawrence River may run late due to the delayed warming of the river system. In all situations, the spawning run closely follows that of the white sucker, Catostomus commersonii (Jenkins 1970). In the St. Lawrence, white sucker, fallfish, and cutlips minnow (in order of spawning) immediately preceded the greater redhorse (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980).

Upon arrival at a spawning bed, males hold territories and are periodically visited by ripe females (Jenkins, pers. comm.). At spawning sites, redhorses are fairly mobile, with swimming and agonistic movements done slowly (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980). Agonistic nudging was initiated by and restricted to males at spawning sites. This behavior may function as a means of sex recognition. Females usually enter spawning sites from downstream, where they hold a position on or just above the substrate for 3-5 seconds. If not joined by males, the female drifts higher and downstream. When spawning is initiated, it is accomplished by a trio of two males and a single female facing into the current, typical of redhorses. Males tend to spawn with females larger than themselves (Jenkins 1970). Spawning apparently takes place during all portions of day and night-time hours. For more specific details regarding spawning behavior, see Jenkins (1970) or Jenkins and Jenkins (1980).

Maturation occurs in males between 380 and 540 mm SL or 467 to 664 mm TL (Jenkins 1970). Generally, it takes males between five and six years to reach maturity (Becker 1983). Maturation is evidenced by the presence of tubercles on breeding individuals.

See also Mongeau et al. (1992).

Ecology Comments: Due to a combination of several factors relating to its large body size and a close phenotypic relationship with other redhorses, the greater redhorse remains poorly known. Most of what is known about the species has been gathered in relatively recent years, particularly within the last twenty.

Yellow perch, fallfish, and American eels are known predators of greater redhorse eggs. All have been observed actively feeding on eggs, often immediately after spawning has taken place (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980). Immediately after some spawning runs, 8-12 eels have been observed rushing into the site to feed. Adult white suckers have also been observed apparently feeding on greater redhorse eggs (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980), but this species is not likely a primary predator.

Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Deep water, Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Typical habitat is moderate to fast-flowing, medium-sized to large rivers (Seegert, pers. comm.); sometimes occurs in river reservoirs and large lakes (Scott and Crossman 1973, Hocutt and Wiley 1986); prefers clear water with substrates of clean sand, gravel, or boulders (Seegert, pers. comm., Becker 1983); apparently cannot tolerate siltation (Seegert, pers. comm.), but occurrence in moderately polluted waters like the Milwaukee River in Wisconsin suggests some tolerance of siltation as long as sufficient current exists to keep spawning areas free of silt deposition (Lyons, pers. comm.). Spawning habitat is largely the same as nonspawning habitat--shallow runs with sand and gravel substrates (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980).

Spawning sites apparently are selected by the females (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980). Spawning beds typically consist of gravel with mixtures of sand and rubble in moderate to swift currents. No nest construction has ever been observed.

In Wisconsin, M. valenciennesi inhabits clear, medium to large rivers, typically 50-100 feet wide with 6-8 foot depths (Lyons, pers. comm.), and lakes (WI BER 1990). Preferred substrates are rocky and possess moderate stream gradients, although occasional records are known from low-gradient, sandy rivers and lakes. Faunal associates at Bearskin Lake in Wisconsin include horny-head chub, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, johnny darter, muskellunge, northern pike and walleye (Becker 1983).

The three extant occupied rivers in Ohio possess substrates of glacial origin or limestone bedrock with scattered glacial debris (Thoma, pers. comm.). The Ottawa River and Bad Creek are small second order streams, while the shallow, turbid Sandusky River has a drainage area of 1420 square miles and occurs within the Huron/Erie Lake Plain and Eastern Corn Belt Plain ecoregions (Thoma, pers. comm.). Principle associates within the Sandusky River include redhorse (golden, black, silver, river and shorthead), bass (smallmouth and rock), sunfish (longear, orange spotted, bluegill and green), darters (greenside, rainbow and johnny), shiners (striped, sand, mimic, spotfin and redfin), minnows (bluntnose and silverjaw), stoneroller, hog sucker, white sucker, carp and white crappie (Thoma, pers. comm.). Trautman (1957) described the habitat of the greater redhorse in Ohio as large streams having clear water throughout most of the year and bottoms of clean sand, gravel or boulders. This description should be modified to include habitats as described above.

Associated species within the St. Lawrence River on the New York-Ontario border include fallfish (Semotilus corporalis), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), American eel (Anguilla rostrata), northern rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), common shiner (Luxilus cornutus), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), white suckers (Catastomus commersoni) and cutlips minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua) (Jenkins and Jenkins 1980).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Probably eats various bottom invertebrates and some plant material; aquatic insects and mollusks may be the main diet (Becker 1983, Mongeau et al. 1992, Rimsky-Korsakoff 1930). Samples from Lake Champlain, New York, included midge larvae (5% total volume), mollusks (25%), crustaceans (60%), and plants (10%) (Rimsky-Korsakoff 1929).
Length: 65 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Utilization of seasonal habitats (spawning grounds, etc.) and population trends are in need of monitoring. Research needs include food source requirements, spawning behavior and surveys of potential habitat for additional redhorse populations. Primary management needs include the preservation and enhancement of habitat quality as well as possible habitat restoration.
Restoration Potential: Recovery potential is poorly known. It is probable that stocking programs, if needed, could be successful if life history were better known. Natural recovery might occur in polluted and otherwise degraded waters with adequate habitat restoration.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Watershed-wide protection from erosion problems and point-source pollutants is needed. Broad riparian buffer strips, stiff pesticide application laws, upland erosion control practices, and modern pollution control systems should be implemented.
Management Requirements: Management should focus on preservation or enhancement of habitat quality. For example, programs to reduce point and non-point pollution problems on lands with a given watershed should be installed. In Ohio, non-point pollution abatement within the Heron/Erie Lake Plain ecoregion is necessary (Thoma, pers. comm.), as are reductions elsewhere.

Habitat restoration in channelized and impounded river sections may be helpful, but restoration of channelized rivers may be prohibitively expensive. Reintroduction could be attempted if habitats can be restored.

Management currently is hampered by our limited knowledge of the biology of this species.

Monitoring Requirements: Use of seasonal habitats, especially for spawning purposes, is a significant monitoring need (Thoma, pers. comm.). Increased protection can be given to specific spawning areas if information pertaining to their use is known. In addition to providing management information, this information is essential in determining if sustainable reproduction is occurring. Important life history information may also be obtained through this type of monitoring work.

Population monitoring programs need to be initiated throughout the range. Many populations are known only from decades-old data that have not been verified in recent years.

There may exist a need to monitor stream water quality on an intermittent basis in watersheds that have had a history of, or are susceptible to, siltation or other pollution problems. Adequate monitoring requires big-river sampling gear. Electroshocking is apparently the only time-efficient survey technique (Seegert, pers. comm.). In areas where the species is known to occur, gill nets can sometimes capture specimens, but this method is difficult. Seining is ineffective (Seegert, pers. comm.).

Accurate population estimates are difficult to obtain because this species frequently is rare. Simple mark and recapture methodologies are not effective when population numbers are small, as the likelihood of recapturing marked individuals is negligible in populations of such size. Only in rivers that possess relatively large and concentrated populations (like some in Wisconsin) can accurate population estimates by made. In such systems, mark and recapture methods should be enacted.

Management Research Needs: More information on diet is needed. A rather old study report based on the stomach contents of a single individual by Rimsky-Korsakoff (1929) is all that is known.

Spawning behavior is largely known from a single study in the St. Lawrence River (i.e., Jenkins 1970), and could use additional research in other areas. Early life history and migratory movements (home range and diurnal movements) have not been studied (Thoma, pers. comm.).

Biological Research Needs: Life history and movements need further study (Thoma, pers. comm. 1990). Information concerning population dynamics (e.g., actual densities at selected locations; survival, mortality, and recruitment rate estimates; annual population fluctuations) would be valuable (Lyons, pers. comm. 1993).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Large Suckers

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Spawning Area
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: Occupied locations that are separated by a gap of 20 km or more of any aquatic habitat that is not known to be occupied represent different occurrences. However, 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. For example, individual blue suckers may move more than 160 km between spawning and nonspawning habitats; these widely separated locations are part of the same occurrence.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Occurrences are separated at major confluences. "Major confluences" may be subjectively defined, but separations should result in occurrences that represent population units whose viability potentially may be ranked as good or excellent (in other words, occurrences should not be so small that the best of them would never be expected to persist over the long term on their own).
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 20 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: 11Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: This Specs Group includes catostomids that typically are larger than 40 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: 16Sep1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Clausen, M. K., J. Losey, J. C. Whittaker, G. Hammerson
Management Information Edition Author: WAYNE OSTLIE
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 19Dec1995
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
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  • Jenkins, R. E. 1970. Systematic studies of the catostomid fish tribe Moxostomatini. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. PhD Thesis. 779 pp.

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

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  • 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.

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  • Simon, T. P. 1992. New icthyofaunal records for the Calumet, Kankakee, and Iroquis drainages of Indiana. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science 101:279-291.

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  • Smith, P.W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. Univ. Illinois Press, Urbana, IL. 314pp.

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References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 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.

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