Re: NANFA-- a sucker affair...

R. W. Wolff (
Sun, 14 Mar 2004 11:37:05 -0600

I have seen white suckers in crystal clear trout streams at spawning time,
and they have a dark stripe down the side. I never saw this before, but
where I grew up the water looked like orange juice or brown gravy in the
canals that the suckers used to spawn in. It is amazing how the boring white
sucker takes on such a transformation at spawning time.

More on observations of white suckers in spring.

The anal fin seemed thicker too, like made out of heavy plastic.
The anal fin length put it half way down the tail atleast when folded back
against the body.
The anal fin was covered with tubercales, making it feel even more
By mid April when the run is done, the anal fin reverts back to a normal
This is the time of year it should start showing up. It is pre spawn.
Around here white suckers are some of the earliest fish to spawn, just
before walleyes and during pike.
( The bulk of the walleye run is just going to start, with most spawning in
the first half of April, pike spawn at ice out)

White suckers are probably important for providing the first fish based
foods for pike and walleye because of this. They must be very prolific. I
know of some "spring ditches" which are formed at the base of earthen dams
on lakes here. These are cooler than the main outflow of the lake. These
will be packed with young white suckers all year. Its not hard to go in with
a seine and pull out hundreds of them. They grow fast too. Lots of nutrients
in these spring ditches.

Ray W.
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