Longnose Sucker

Longnose Sucker
Credit: Gordon Court


  • Common name: Longnose Sucker
  • Scientific name: Catostomus catostomus
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Catostomidae

Also known as


Viewing opportunities

  • Longnose Suckers are bottom feeders, so you’ll likely only see them in shallow water.


  • Brown, tan, olive to black back and sides; cream or white underparts.
  • Round to oval in cross-section.
  • Spawning adults develop a vivid rose to red coloured stripe along the lateral line, males are much brighter.

Fast facts

  • Length: 25 to 45 cm
  • Weight: 0.5 to 2.5 kg
  • Habitat: Freshwater

Conservation status

What is conservation status?

  • Yukon: S5 (Secure)
  • Global: G5 (Secure)

Yukon population estimate

Not determined


Suckers live in warm, shallow, turbid rivers and lakes throughout the Yukon. They spawn in spring, immediately after ice break-up, on the gravel bottoms of inlet and outlet streams and rivers and in shallow lakes. Suckers are born with their mouths in the front and begin feeding on plankton and small invertebrates near the surface. As they mature they shift entirely to bottom feeding and their mouths move to the bottom of the head.


Aquatic insects, crustaceans and mollusks.


Longnose Sucker distribution map.

Suckers and people

  • In the past, Longnose Suckers were netted or speared for use as food for dog teams.