Longnose Sucker - (Catostomus catostomus)
Length: 12 to 18 inches
Weight: 12 ounces to 2 pounds
Coloring: dark olive or grey to nearly black on back and upper sides,
cream to white on lower sides and ventral surface of head and body
Common Names: sturgeon sucker, northern sucker, red sucker
Found in Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie, and Superior
Longnose suckers inhabit clear, cold waters from the northern tier of
the United States to the top of the continent. It is the only species
of sucker that lives in Asia as well.
In Lake Superior, longnose suckers outnumber the white suckers to which
they are often compared. Such comparisons usually favor the meat of the
longnose sucker as being more desirable, even though its long, round body
is filled with bones.
The longnose spawns in the spring, several days before the white sucker
begins its spawning run up the same stream. Once in the shallows, both
species are prey to raptors and mammals like ospreys and bears, who know
a good meal when they see it. Many Lake Superior fishermen and fish processors,
who are just as savvy, consider longnose suckers an abundant but underutilized
species that can be marketed in new, attractive ways. Frozen fillets of
sucker are usually marketed as "mullet."
copyright 2001 University
of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute