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Shedd Longnose Sucker

Longnose Sucker
Catostomus catostomus

  • Length:12 to 18 inches
  • Weight:12 ounces to 2 pounds
  • Coloring:dark olive or grey to nearly black on back and upper sides, cream to white on lower sides and ventral surface of head and body
  • Common Names:sturgeon sucker, northern sucker, red sucker
  • Found in Lakes:Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie, and Superior
Longnose suckers inhabit clear, cold waters from the northern tier of the United States to the top of the continent. It is the only species of sucker that lives in Asia as well.

In Lake Superior, longnose suckers outnumber the white suckers to which they are often compared. Such comparisons usually favor the meat of the longnose sucker as being more desirable, even though its long, round body is filled with bones.

The longnose spawns in the spring, several days before the white sucker begins its spawning run up the same stream. Once in the shallows, both species are prey to raptors and mammals like ospreys and bears, who know a good meal when they see it. Many Lake Superior fishermen and fish processors, who are just as savvy, consider longnose suckers an abundant but underutilized species that can be marketed in new, attractive ways. Frozen fillets of sucker are usually marketed as "mullet."

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copyright 1998 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institutegull_logosmall.gif (2053 bytes)
Brook Trout illustration copyright 1998
Gina Mikel

Longnose sucker  photograph (c) Shedd Aquarium (e-mail)

Last updated 05 February 2002 by Seaman