Catostomus commersoni (Lacepède, 1803)
member of the Sucker Family (Catostomidae)
photo by William D. Schmid
photo by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
(Cat-oh-stome´-us) means "sub-terminal mouth" in Greek (the mouth
is on the belly side of the fish)
Do They Live?
The white sucker is one of Minnesota's most common fish, and it is the most widely spread distributed sucker in Minnesota. It is most common in the eastern and northern portions of the state. White suckers are benthic (bottom dwellers) and live in all kinds of lakes and streams from clean, stream-fed brooks to slow-moving, turbid (cloudy) rivers.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Because white suckers are benthic (bottom dwellers), they typically slurp up things that live on the bottom. Their diet is highly variable and depends on where they've been feeding. Some stomachs have contained only insects, while others have contained only plant matter. Typical food items include a variety of aquatic (water) insect larvae, waterfleas, sideswimmers, snails, clams, algae, other plant matter, detritus (decaying matter), and fish eggs.
Do They Reproduce?
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by William D. Schmid and Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by 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 18 June 2004