Peamouth Chub

By Bill and Lori Jollymore's In Species
Peamouth Mylcheilus caurinus

Also known as peamouth chub, redmouth sucker and northwest dace

Peamouth are dark brown to green on their backs, with two dark strips on their sides. The top stripe goes from the head to the tail, but the bottom stripe stops about half way to the tail. Their bellies are silver-yellow and their fins are yellow to brown in colour. Peamouth are long, thin fish with a large eye and a long, round snout. The male has red on his side, belly, mouth and gills when mature.

 The peamouth is a western minnow native to the several rivers in British Columbia, Alberta and the western United States. It prefers lakes and slow-moving portions of streams and will school where aquatic vegetation is abundant. Peamouth can live in brackish (slightly salty) waters for a limited time. They eat mainly aquatic insects and plankton.

Peamouth spawn in shallow streams and along lakeshores over a gravel bottom. In late spring, eggs are laid on the bottom where they stick to the rocks and gravel. A female may lay between 5,000 to 30,000 eggs, depending on her age and size. The newly hatched fish stay in schools in shallow water until late summer. They then move into deeper waters, but tend to stay in small schools.

Spawning fish come close to shore in groups of 50 to 400. Females are crowded by 2 or more males into 1 or 2 inches of water by the shoreline and eggs and sperms are released.

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