E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Catostomus sp. 4
Salish Sucker
Family: Catostomidae

Photo of species

© Jill Miners  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19634)

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The Salish Sucker is a species of fish that is found only in a few locations in the Puget Sound area in Washington State and in the Fraser Valley in BC. It is considered a relict of the Ice Age. This species inhabits small lakes and headwaters of streams n BC. The Salish Sucker is a small species, reaching 25 cm in length. They spawn in gravel beds.

This is a genetically and morphologically distinct fish but is presently recognized as a form of the Longnose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus). The COSEWIC status report (COSEWIC 2013) says: "The Salish Sucker comprises a genetically and morphologically distinct group of populations within the Longnose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus) complex...The Salish sucker (Catostomus sp.) has yet to be scientifically named as a species. Genetic and morphological data indicate it is distinct from the longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus), the species from which it evolutionarily diverged in the Chehalis Refugium during Pleistocene Glaciation. L."

The most recent COSEWIC status report for this species says: "This small fish has a restricted and fragmented range in southwestern British Columbia where it is susceptible to a continuing decline in habitat quality. An improvement in status from Endangered stems from a small increase in the number of known locations (from 9 to 14), including one location thought to have been extirpated, and some improvements in quality of habitat in areas subject to restoration. "


COSEWIC. 2012. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Salish Sucker Catostomus sp. cf. catostomus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. Available online.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS1RedT (Nov 2012)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-04-22 9:48:31 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC