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Wildlife Razorback Sucker Page


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This photograph may be used for non-commercial purposes.  Please give credit to the photographer.
Photo by: John Woodling
 Razorback Sucker
 Xyrauchen texanus

Habitat: This is a large river species not found in smaller tributaries and headwater streams. Found in water from 4-10 feet in depth, adults are associated with areas of strong current and backwaters. Many specimens taken in recent years are from off-stream impoundments and reservoirs. The razorback sucker eats both invertebrates and algae. Ripe adults have been observed in Colorado at several locations in late May and early June (Wick et al. 1981), although exact habitat requirements for succesful spawning are unknown.

Description: A large sucker with a sharp-edged ridge anterior to the dorsal fin; no other sucker has this characteristic. Lateral line scales are moderate in size ranging from 68-87. Dorsal fin large with 13-16 rays. Adults are dark brown to olivaceous dorsally, fading to white on the belly. Head and ridge on back is very dark. A maximum length of 3 feet and up to 14 pounds in weight have been recorded. In Colorado, fish of 20 inches in length and weighing 2-3 pounds are average.

Range in Colorado: Found historically throughout the Colorado River Drainage, this fish has become very rare above the Grand Canyon. In Colorado, recent specimens have been taken only from the lower, mainstem Colorado, Gunnison, lower Yampa and Green rivers. The species is listed as an endangered species in Colorado and less than 70 specimens have been collected in the state since 1979.

Status: CDOW WRIS Species, Federally Endangered, State Endangered






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