Suckers - Family Catostomidae

  CREEK CHUBSUCKER - Erimyzon oblongus

creek chubsucker fish 

Fish Notes

The creek chubsucker is one of the few freshwater fish that do not possess a lateral line.  The lateral line is a series of sensory pores along the head and sides of fish by which water currents, vibrations and pressure changes are detected. 

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 10 inches

Diet: Microcrustaceans, aquatic insects, mollusks, algae and detritus


 map of creek chubsucker distribution


 GOLDEN REDHORSE - Moxostoma erythrurum

golden redhorse fish 

Fish Notes

The golden redhorse is a large sucker that is found generally in medium to large rivers but will migrate into smaller streams during the breeding season each spring. The individuals collected by Fairfax County staff were located near the mouth of streams flowing into the Potomac River.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 15 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects, invertebrates, algae and detritus

map of golden redhorse distribution  

  NORTHERN HOGSUCKER - Hypentelium nigricans

northern hogsucker fish 


Fish Notes:

The northern hogsucker is an aggressive feeder who will overturn stones and gravel in search of food.  Other fish are known to follow feeding hogsuckers to eat any scraps it churns up from the bottom of the stream. 

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 15 inches but known to grow to 24 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects, microcrustaceans and algae

map of nothern hogsucker distribution 


  WHITE SUCKER - Catostomus commersoni

white sucker fish 

Fish Notes:

The white sucker is a common fish found in Fairfax County streams.  Its downturned mouth is adapted to feeding on midge larvae and small crustaceans found on the bottom of streams. 

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 20 inches, rarely larger

Diet: Insect larvae and small crustaceans

map of white sucker distribution 



Jenkins, R. E., N. M. Burkhead, 1994, Freshwater Fishes of Virginia, 1079 pgs., American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD

For more information, please email the Stormwater Planning Division or call 703-324-5500, TTY 711


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