• Family: Catostomidae (Suckers)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 9-15 inches, can reach 18 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates and some plant matter.
Spotted suckers have a dark spot at the base of each scale giving them the appearance of having many rows of small black spots on their body. Their lateral line (series of sensory pores along the side of most fish) is incomplete or absent entirely. No other species of sucker found in Ohio has the combination of these two characteristics.
Habitat and Habits
Spotted suckers are found in oxbows, overflow ponds, lakes, and slow moving streams and rivers. They are often found in association with relatively clear waters with bottoms that are relatively free of silt and have an abundance of aquatic vegetation. In Ohio they are common in the bays and marshes along the shore of the western basin of Lake Erie and around creek mouths and embayments in the Ohio River. They can also be found in slower moving streams throughout the state. Additionally populations exist in some of the man made reservoirs such as Indian Lake and Hoover Reservoir.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Spotted suckers spawn in April and May over sand or gravel in shallow water. Eggs are scattered and no parental care is given to the young. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days and young reach 2-4 inches by October.