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Colorado Fish Species

Arctic Char
Arctic Grayling
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Blue Catfish
Bluegill
Bluehead sucker
Bonytail Chub
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Colorado Pikeminnow
Colorado River Cutthroat
Common Carp
Creek Chub
Cutbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Emerald Shiner
Flannelmouth Sucker
Flathead Catfish
Flathead Chub
Freshwater Drum
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Goldfish
Grass Carp
Green Sunfish
Greenback Cutthroat
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Kokanee
Lake Chub
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Longnose Sucker
Mountain Whitefish
Northern Pike
Orangespotted Sunfish
Pumpkinseed
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
River Carpsucker
Roundtail Chub
Rudd
Sacramento Perch
Sauger
Saugeye
Smallmouth Bass
Snake River Cutthroat
Splake
Spottail Shiner
Spotted Bass
Striped Bass
Sunfish (Bream)
Tiger Muskie
Tiger Trout
Walleye
White Bass
White Crappie
White Sucker
Yellow Perch
Yellowstone Cutthroat

View another fish:
FishExplorer Lakes with Bluehead sucker
FishExplorer Rivers with Bluehead sucker
Only lakes in the Fish Explorer database are included in this listing. Lakes we feature on this website are hyperlinked.
Bluehead sucker

Bluehead suckers are native to the middle and upper Colorado River. Within the Colorado River Basin, bluehead suckers are found in the Colorado, Dolores, Duchesne, Escalante, Fremont, Green, Gunnison, Price, San Juan, San Rafael, White, and Yampa rivers. Adult suckers prefer areas with rocky or gravel bottoms and moderate to fast currents.  While tolerant of a variety of conditions they are typically found in streams with cool temperatures.

The following description of bluehead suckers is taken from Bezzerides and Bestgen (2002): “Bluehead suckers have a short, broad head with a wide snout that overhangs a large mouth. Lips are large and the upper forms a fleshy hood over the mouth. The lower lip is shallowly notched at the midline. Small papillae are evenly scattered over the lower lip and oral face of the upper lip, but are absent from anterior face of upper lip. Both jaws have well-developed, cartilaginous scraping edges. The body is elongate and tapers to a caudal peduncle that varies in thickness. . . .  In clear water, C. discobolus is typically dark olive to nearly black on the back and sides and yellowish on the belly, and in turbid water, silvery tan or lighter green above and dirty white below. The head is often bluish, thus the common name. Young fish are dusky above and white below.”
 
Bluehead suckers spawn in the spring and early summer when water temperatures range from 65 to 75 degrees. They prefer to spawn in shallow water over gravelly areas with moderate current. During spawn, one or two males positioned themselves alongside a female in a depression created by fanning.  They shudder their bodies during spawn stimulating the female to subsequently release her eggs into the depression. Juveniles grow fast, reaching lengths three inches.  They become sexually within two to three years. Larvae of bluehead sucker may drift after emerging from the egg. However, blueheads are generally sedentary, seldom moving more than a few kilometers during the year. The species is long-lived, with maximum ages reported over 20 years.
 
These fish are omnivores, foraging on the bottom.  The scrapping disc allows them to scrape algae, insects, and other material from rock surfaces.
 

Bluehead sucker in Colorado

In Colorado, the bluehead suckers are restricted to western slope waters. Longnose and white suckers have replaced them in some areas, such as the Gunnison River above Blue Mesa Reservoir. Bluehead suckers are a species of special concern in Colorado and it is illegal to take and use them for any purpose.



Most Recent Bluehead sucker Forum Posts
issue with suckers 10.16.13 by creole
Bluehead sucker Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: Boomerang Tool Co. Grip 11.07.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: DIY No Drill Removable Kayak Fish FInder 09.29.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Take Your Time 04.12.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Spring (Rebirth) New podcasts coming Soon! 04.11.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: It's your fault! 02.21.12 by Tim Emery
Blog: 4 Apps Every Angler With A Smartphone Should Use 02.09.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: Become a pro 09.30.11 by Joshua Christensen
Recent Colorado Bluehead sucker Photos by Fish Explorer Members
by JohnnyMartillo - this was back in November. wasn`t a good fight. he probably knew I was gonna toss him back anyway