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White Sucker

White Sucker

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Encyclopedia
The White Sucker is a bottom-feeding freshwater fish inhabiting North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 from Labrador
Labrador
Labrador is the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle...

 in the north to Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 in the south. It is a long, round-bodied fish with a dark green, grey, copper, brown, or black back and sides and a light underbelly. When fullgrown, it is between 12 and 20 inches long and weighs between 2 and 6 lb. It will eat almost anything it can, but most commonly small invertebrate
Invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

s and plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 matter. Larger predatory fish species such as walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

, trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

, bass
Bass (fish)
Bass is a name shared by many different species of popular gamefish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species. All belong to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes, and in fact the word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch."-Types of basses:*The temperate...

, northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

, catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

, muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, and sauger
Sauger
The sauger is a freshwater perciform fish of the family Percidae which resembles its close relative the walleye. They are members of the largest vertebrate order, Perciforms. They are the most migratory percid species in North America. Saugers obtain two dorsal fins, the first is spiny and the...

 prey on the white sucker.

A very common fish, the white sucker is usually not fished for food, though some consider it good to eat. It is most often used as bait
Bait fish
Bait fish are small fish caught for use as bait to attract large predatory fish, particularly game fish. Species used are typically those that are common and breed rapidly, making them easy to catch and in regular supply. Examples of marine bait fish are anchovies, halfbeaks such as ballyhoo, and...

; the young are sold as sucker minnows. When it is eaten by humans, it is usually processed and sold under the name of mullet
Mullet (fish)
The mullets or grey mullets are a family and order of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and in some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman times...

. Other common names for the white sucker include bay fish, brook sucker, common sucker, and mullet. The white sucker is often confused with the longnose sucker
Longnose sucker
The longnose sucker, Catostomus catostomus, is a freshwater species of fish inhabiting cold, clear waters in North America from northern USA to the top of the continent. In addition, it is one of two species of sucker to inhabit Asia, specifically the rivers of eastern Siberia...

, Catostomus catostomus, since they look very similar.

The white sucker's predators are numerous and include pike, muskies, pickerel, burbot, osprey; taken during spawning by otters, bears and other mammals; young also eaten by bass, trout, mink, and kingfishers.

Fossil record


Fossils of this fish in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 occur as early as the Early Pleistocene
Early Pleistocene
Calabrian is a subdivision of the Pleistocene Epoch of the Geologic time scale. ~1.8 Ma.—781,000 years ago ± 5,000 years, a period of ~.The end of the stage is defined by the last magnetic pole reversal and plunge in to an ice age and global drying possibly colder and drier than the late Miocene ...

(1.8 million years ago)http://paleodb.org/cgi-bin/bridge.pl?action=checkTaxonInfo&taxon_no=83688&is_real_user=1.

External links