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Lake Chubsucker

Lake Chubsucker
   Photo: Erling Holm / ROM

Features: The Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) is a small sucker (usually less than 25 cm long) with a blunt snout and small, downwards directed mouth which is typical of suckers. It prefers marshes and lakes with clear, still waters and abundant aquatic plants. Here it feeds by picking molluscs and aquatic insects off plants, and eating filamentous algae. In late April and early June, adults move into marshes where females will lay up to 20,000 eggs each.

Status: Threatened Provincially and Nationally

Range: The Lake Chubsucker is primarily a species of the southeast United States, but it has two main centres of distribution; the lower coastal plain (gulf and southeastern Atlantic states), and the southern Great Lakes basin. In Canada, it is known only from seven locations in drainages of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Huron, and the Niagara River.

Threats: Siltation, wetland drainage and increased water turbidity and pollution have caused declines in this species over its range. This species depends on healthy wetlands. The Lake Chubsucker was not reported in Ontario until 1949 which suggests that it may always have been rare here.

Protection: Protection provided by Ontario's Endangered Species Act, 2007, prohibits any type of harmful actions such as killing, capturing, possessing, selling, and trading of this species. There is also general protection from the habitat sections of the Fisheries Act. Four of the seven populations in Ontario are in Provincial or National Parks where they receive additional habitat protection.

Text Sources: Mandrak and Crossman 1994

Last Modified Date: October 2008

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