Lake Chub Fish – Description | Habitat | Diet | Behavior

Lake chub

The lake chub, scientific name Couesius plumbeus is a freshwater cyprinid fish present in Canada and in components of the United States. Of all North American minnows, it’s the one with the northernmost distribution. Its genus, Couesius is taken into account monotypic in the present day. The genus was named after Dr. Elliott Coues, who collected the holotype specimen.

Lake chub Description

The body is fusiform and considerably elongated. It is often 100 to 175 mm (4 to 7 in) long, the place the utmost size is roughly 225 mm (9 in).

The back is olive-brown or darkish brown, and the edges are leaden silver, therefore the word plumbeus, referring to steer, within the scientific name of this fish. The snout is blunt and initiatives barely past the higher lip. The corners of the mouth every bear a small barbel.

The scales are small however effectively seen, and a few could also be black and type remoted darkish spots on the decrease sides. The dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins every has eight rays.

The pectoral fins are broad and have 13-18, however more often 15-16, rays. The fish has no enamel, adipose fin, or spines. The mouth is relatively small and the tail is forked.

Breeding males can develop patches of shiny orange or purple on the base of the pectoral fins and typically close to the mouth, and small nuptial tubercles on the top of the top, dorsal floor of pectoral rays, and on the stomach close to the base of the pectorals.

The juveniles are much like the adults, however have less apparent mottling or stripe. The females are sometimes bigger than the males.

Lake chub Distribution

The lake chub is usually discovered all through Canada as much as the Arctic Circle. Some scattered populations are additionally current within the northern United States, more exactly in New England, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, and Utah.

The lake chub can be the one minnow recognized to reside in Alaska. Its vary additionally contains Lake Michigan in Illinois and the Platte River system in Wyoming. There are relict populations of the lake chub within the higher Missouri River drainage.

Lake chub Habitat

As its common name implies, the lake chub is mostly present in cold-water lakes with clear gravel, and it could additionally reside in cold-water rivers and streams. It usually lives in shallows, however, throughout mid-summer, it might transfer to the deeper components of a lake to keep away from the warmer waters of the lakeshore.

Lake chub


The eating regimen of the lake chub is assorted: zooplankton, bugs, aquatic insect larvae, and algae. The largest individuals can seize small fishes. The lake chub itself could be eaten by massive predatory fishes and is due to this fact appropriate as bait for fishing.


In and around Catamaran Brook, New Brunswick, Canada, lake chubs over 5 cm long (2 inches) have been discovered to develop by about 0.8 cm (0.3 inches) a month in summer.

Lake chub Reproduction

During spawning, male lake chub will pursue females. Spawning-ready males will cost a feminine which causes her to swim upward, typically breaking the water floor.

The male swims subsequent to the feminine, and if a number of males are current, they swim subsequent to at least one other with the intention to compete for the feminine.

During this course, the male’s mouth will open and shut quickly till the feminine swims to a rock, and the remaining male strikes towards her till her eggs are launched.

Lake chubs usually bear spawning migrations in the early summer. Temperature performs a job in triggering migration onset, as migrations are delayed in colder years.

Migrating chubs depart their lakes and rivers to ascend tributary streams, during which they mate (by day or evening) and launch their eggs over gravel or rocks.

There isn’t any parental care. During migration the fish transfer principally throughout nightfall and in the evening.

Lake chub Behavior

In the laboratory, lake chubs have expressed free-running circadian rhythms which can be among the many most exact of the few fish species studied up to now. These fish are often diurnal within the laboratory, however, within the wild they are often diurnal, crepuscular, or nocturnal.

The lake chub has massive optic lobes in its mind and is due to this fact presumed to be a superb sight feeder. It can, nevertheless, feed in the evening additionally.

Comparisons with different freshwater fishes equivalent to stickleback, northern pike, sculpin, and burbot have revealed that it has a superior listening capability.

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Very few lake chubs reside previous the age of 4 years. However, their common lifespan is about 5 years they usually have been recognized to reside as much as seven years. Female lake chub are thought to develop quicker and reside longer than males.

Common name

The lake chub is typically referred to as by different names equivalent to northern chub, lake northern chub, chub minnow, plumbers minnow, or bottle fish. The species can be present in Quebec and its French name is “mené de lac”.

The lake chub should not be confused with numerous cisco species of the genus Coregonus dwelling in Lake Michigan, which are sometimes referred to as Michigan Lake chubs. Learn more about Bermuda blue angelfish.

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