Desert Sucker

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  • Desert Sucker: (Catostomus clarki)

    Native to Arizona. Body sharply bi-colored, olive-brown above and deep-yellow below. Scales on upper half of body have dark spots forming faint dashed lines. Lower lip is about 3 times as thick as upper lip. Dorsal fin has 10 to 11 rays. Length: 8 to 31 inches. Weight: 4 ounces to over 4 pounds.

    Location and Habitat
    Abundant in the Bill William's, Gila, Salt and Verde River systems. Prefer rivers or streams that have deep and quiet, rocky or gravely pools. Intolerant of lake conditions created by dams. Spawning is from February to early July; Eggs are deposited and fertilized in gravely areas.

    Desert suckers feed mostly on aquatic insect larvae and algae.

    Fish on the bottom, in deeper pools of rivers and streams with worms or crickets.

    Table Quality
    The meat is firm, white and quite tasty. Intermuscular bones or floating bones are present, which can be cut out prior to cooking.

    Information from The Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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