Cottus bairdi (Girard, 1850)
member of the Sculpin Family (Cottidae)
Eau Galle River, St. Croix County, Wisconsin 1997
In a Name?
(Kot´-tus) means "the bull's head" referring to an old name for freshwater
Do They Live?
Mottled sculpins occur primarily in the Rainy River, Lake Superior, St. Croix River, and Mississippi River (upper and lower) drainages. They also are known from the Otter Tail and Clearwater rivers in the Red River drainage. In streams they inhabit small, clear streams and large lakes that have rocky shores. They occupy both riffle and pools over sand, gravel, boulders, or limestone. Mottled sculpins favor clear water with some form of shelter (for example boulders or vegetation) to use as hiding spots. Common associates of mottled sculpins include white suckers, creek chubs, brook sticklebacks, and pearl dace, to name a few.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Since this fish is commonly a benthic (bottom dweller), they eat things that are found on the bottom. Diets vary from streams to lakes. In streams, aquatic insect larvae and sideswimmers are more common. In lakes, copepods, waterfleas, leeches, and algae are added. Occasionally, fish eggs and even small fish are found in mottled sculpin stomachs.
Do They Reproduce?
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Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Gary L Phillip, Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 27 Feburary 2002