Nocomis micropogon - (Cope, 1865)
River Chub
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Nocomis micropogon (Cope, 1865) (TSN 163392)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101786
Element Code: AFCJB26050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Minnows and Carps
Image 124

© Noel Burkhead & Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries (Fishes of Virginia)

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae Nocomis
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: Nocomis micropogon
Taxonomic Comments: Monongahela drainage population shows effects of past introgression with N. platyrhynchus (Lee et al. 1980). Page and Burr (1991) regarded N. platyrhynchus as a subspecies of N. micropogon. The 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991) and Mayden et al. (1992) kept them as separate species.

Morphological and reproductive-behavioral data indicate that the genus Nocomis is monophyletic (Maurakis et al. 1991). Morphological data indicate that the biguttatus group of Nocomis is most closely related to the micropogon group (Lachner and Jenkins 1971), whereas reproductive-behavioral data indicate that N. leptocephalus and N. biguttatus form a monophyletic group (Maurakis et al. 1991).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 16Sep1996
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 Alabama (S2), District of Columbia (S2), Georgia (S3S4), Illinois (S1), Indiana (S4), Kentucky (S4S5), Maryland (S5), Michigan (S4), New York (S4), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (S4), Pennsylvania (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5)
Canada Ontario (S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Not at Risk (01Apr1988)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: This species occurs in large rather isolated populations in southwestern Ontario and more recently in eastern Ontario. Populations appear to be stable across its range in Canada.

Status History: Designated Not at Risk in April 1988. More recently (2015) considered a low priority candidate for re-assessment.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: River chubs inhabit Atlantic drainages from the Susquehanna River, New York, to James River, Virginia; Great Lakes Basin, New York to Michigan; and Ohio River basin, New York to eastern Illinois and south to northern Georgia and Alabama (but absent in southwestern Indiana, western 2/3 of Kentucky, and most of western Tennessee) (Page and Burr 1991). The species has been introduced in the Ottawa River system, Ontario; it is also present and possibly introduced in upper Santee River (North Carolina), Savannah River (South Carolina and Georgia), and Coosa River (Georgia).

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of subpopulations and locations.

Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but relatively large.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Localized threats may exist, but on a range-wide scale no major threats are known.

Short-term Trend Comments: See Dalton (1989) for information on status in Canada.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: River chubs inhabit Atlantic drainages from the Susquehanna River, New York, to James River, Virginia; Great Lakes Basin, New York to Michigan; and Ohio River basin, New York to eastern Illinois and south to northern Georgia and Alabama (but absent in southwestern Indiana, western 2/3 of Kentucky, and most of western Tennessee) (Page and Burr 1991). The species has been introduced in the Ottawa River system, Ontario; it is also present and possibly introduced in upper Santee River (North Carolina), Savannah River (South Carolina and Georgia), and Coosa River (Georgia).

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 AL, DC, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Catoosa (13047)
IL Clark (17023)*, Jo Daviess (17085)*, Lawrence (17101)*, Ogle (17141)*, Vermilion (17183)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lackawaxen (02040103), Upper Susquehanna (02050101), Chenango (02050102), Owego-Wappasening (02050103), Tioga (02050104), Chemung (02050105), Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106), Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107), Upper West Branch Susquehanna (02050201), Sinnemahoning (02050202), Middle West Branch Susquehanna (02050203), Bald Eagle (02050204), Pine (02050205), Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206), Lower Susquehanna-Penns (02050301), Upper Juniata (02050302), Raystown (02050303), Lower Juniata (02050304), Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305), Lower Susquehanna (02050306), Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003), Patuxent (02060006), South Branch Potomac (02070001), North Branch Potomac (02070002), Cacapon-Town (02070003), Conococheague-Opequon (02070004), South Fork Shenandoah (02070005), North Fork Shenandoah (02070006), Shenandoah (02070007), Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008), Monocacy (02070009), Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010), Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock (02080103), Lower Rappahannock (02080104), Mattaponi (02080105), Pamunkey (02080106), Upper James (02080201), Maury (02080202), Middle James-Buffalo (02080203), Rivanna (02080204), Middle James-Willis (02080205), Lower James (02080206), Appomattox (02080207)
03 Upper Catawba (03050101), Seneca (03060101), Tugaloo (03060102), Upper Savannah (03060103), Upper Chattahoochee (03130001), Coosawattee (03150102), Etowah (03150104)
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001), St. Joseph (04050001), Black-Macatawa (04050002), Kalamazoo (04050003), Upper Grand (04050004), Maple (04050005), Lower Grand (04050006), Thornapple (04050007), Pere Marquette-White (04060101), Muskegon (04060102), Manistee (04060103), Betsie-Platte (04060104), Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105), Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003), Cheboygan (04070004), Black (04070005), Thunder Bay (04070006), Au Sable (04070007), Au Gres-Rifle (04080101), Kawkawlin-Pine (04080102), Pigeon-Wiscoggin (04080103), Birch-Willow (04080104), Tittabawassee (04080201), Pine (04080202), Shiawassee (04080203), Flint (04080204), Cass (04080205), Saginaw (04080206), St. Clair (04090001), Lake St. Clair (04090002), Clinton (04090003), Detroit (04090004), Huron (04090005), Ottawa-Stony (04100001), Raisin (04100002), St. Joseph (04100003), Upper Maumee (04100005)*, Tiffin (04100006), Auglaize (04100007)*, Blanchard (04100008)*, Lower Maumee (04100009)*, Sandusky (04100011)*, Huron-Vermilion (04100012)*, Black-Rocky (04110001), Cuyahoga (04110002), Ashtabula-Chagrin (04110003), Grand (04110004), Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101), Cattaraugus (04120102), Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103), Niagara (04120104), Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001), Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101), Seneca (04140201)*
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001), Conewango (05010002), Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003), French (05010004), Clarion (05010005), Middle Allegheny-Redbank (05010006), Conemaugh (05010007), Kiskiminetas (05010008), Lower Allegheny (05010009), Tygart Valley (05020001), West Fork (05020002), Upper Monongahela (05020003), Cheat (05020004), Lower Monongahela (05020005), Youghiogheny (05020006), Upper Ohio (05030101), Shenango (05030102), Mahoning (05030103)*, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106), Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201), Little Kanawha (05030203), Hocking (05030204)*, Tuscarawas (05040001)*, Mohican (05040002), Walhonding (05040003), Muskingum (05040004), Licking (05040006), Upper Kanawha (05050006), Elk (05050007), Lower Kanawha (05050008), Coal (05050009), Upper Scioto (05060001), Lower Scioto (05060002), Paint (05060003)*, Upper Guyandotte (05070101), Lower Guyandotte (05070102), Tug (05070201), Upper Levisa (05070202), Lower Levisa (05070203), Big Sandy (05070204), Upper Great Miami (05080001), Lower Great Miami (05080002)*, Whitewater (05080003), Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)*, Twelvepole (05090102), Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103), Little Sandy (05090104), Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201), Little Miami (05090202), Licking (05100101), North Fork Kentucky (05100201), Middle Fork Kentucky (05100202), South Fork Kentucky (05100203), Upper Kentucky (05100204), Eel (05120104), Tippecanoe (05120106), Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Sugar (05120110), Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Upper White (05120201), Flatrock-Haw (05120205), Upper East Fork White (05120206), Upper Cumberland (05130101), Rockcastle (05130102), Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103), South Fork Cumberland (05130104), Collins (05130107), Caney (05130108)
06 North Fork Holston (06010101), South Fork Holston (06010102), Watauga (06010103), Holston (06010104), Upper French Broad (06010105), Pigeon (06010106), Lower French Broad (06010107), Nolichucky (06010108), Watts Bar Lake (06010201), Upper Little Tennessee (06010202), Tuckasegee (06010203), Lower Little Tennessee (06010204), Upper Clinch (06010205), Powell (06010206), Lower Clinch (06010207), Emory (06010208), Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002), Ocoee (06020003), Sequatchie (06020004), Wheeler Lake (06030002), Upper Elk (06030003), Pickwick Lake (06030005), Bear (06030006), Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001), Buffalo (06040004)
07 Apple-Plum (07060005)+*, Lower Rock (07090005)+*
+ 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: River chubs have a stout body, large dark-edged scales on the back and sides, a long snout, small eyes high on the head, and a barbel (whisker) at the corner of the large mouth. The mouth is slightly to the rear of the tip of the snout. The back is dark olive to brown, and the belly is white to light yellow; the sides are brassy, iridescent green. Maximum length is around 12.5 inches (32 cm). Breeding males ahve a pink-blue head, body, and fins; large tubercles on the snout (including in front of the nostrils); and a large hump on the top of the head. Nest mounds may reach a diameter of 39 inches (100 cm) or more and may rise several inches above the level of the streambed.
Reproduction Comments: Spawning occurs in spring (mid-April to late May or June in southern Michigan; late spring in Tennessee; rarely as late as early July in the north; late May through June in Virignia). In any one site, most spawning may occur within one wekk, though cold weather or high water may interrupt nesting. Eggs are covered with stones by the male and hatch in about 5-6 days. River chub nests may be used simultaneously for spawning by other minnow species.Individuals mature by 2 years, live about 5 years.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): High gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: River chubs live in swift current and flowing pools of small to medium rivers with high to moderate gradient, usually clear warm water, and gravel to boulder bottoms.

Spawning occurs over gravel mound nests made by males in water generally 18-36 inches (46-91 cm) deep. The mounds are made after the male first excavates a pit. Eggs are deposited in a trench that the male makes in the mound. Eggs are covered with stones by the male.

Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Adults and juveniles eat benthic insects, crayfish, molluscs, algae, and vascular plants. Young eat insects, microcrustaceans, snails, and plants (Lee et al. 1980).
Length: 27 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Medium Cyprinids

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.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 15 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 15 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 cyprinids are arbitrary but reflect the presumption that movements and appropriate separation distances generally should increase with fish size. Hence small, medium, and large cyprinids, respectively, have increasingly large separation distances. Separation distance reflects the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than many 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 15 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.
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: 21Jan2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Jan2010
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
  • Cooper, J.E. 1980. Egg, larval and juvenile development of longnose dace, Rhinichthys cataractae, and river chub, Nocomis micropogon, with notes on their hybridation. Copeia 1980(3):469-478.

  • Dalton, K. W. 1989. Status of the river chub, Nocomis micropogon, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 103:186-192.

  • Lachner, E. A., and R. E. Jenkins. 1971. Systematics, distribution, and evolution of the chub genus Nocomis Girard (Pisces, Cyprinidae) of eastern United States, with descriptions of new species. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 85:1-91.

  • Maurakis, E. G., W. S. Woolcott, and M. H. Sabaj. 1991. Reproductive-behavioral phylogenetics of Nocomis species-groups. American Midland Naturalist 126:103-110.

  • Mayden, R. L., B. M. Burr, L. M. Page, and R. R. Miller. 1992. The native freshwater fishes of North America. Pages 827-863 in R.L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 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.

  • Reighard, J.E. 1943. The breeding habits of the river chub, Nocomis micropogon (Cope). Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 28 (1942): 397-423.

  • 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.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986a. Distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4, Frankfort, Kentucky. 398 pp.

  • Cooper, E. L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park. 243 pp.

  • Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. xiv + 681 pp.

  • Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. xxiii + 1079 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.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Mettee, M. F., P. E. O'Neil, and J. M. Pierson. 1996. Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin. Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama. 820 pp.

  • Smith, C. L. 1983. Fishes of New York (maps and printout of a draft section on scarce fishes of New York). Unpublished draft.

  • Smith, C. L. 1985. The inland fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, New York, xi + 522 pp.

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

  • Stauffer, J. R., Jr., J. M. Boltz, and L. R. White. 1995. The fishes of West Virginia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 146:1-389.

  • Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Second edition. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, Ohio. 782 pp.

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