Fun Shortnose Sucker Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Oct 20, 2022 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 01, 2021
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Few of the classified shortnose sucker fish facts is they have orange to golden glitter on their back.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The shortnose sucker, Chasmistes brevirostris, was once a wide known species in California and upper Klamath. However, today they are only restricted to a few areas such as the lost river, and the Klamath lake.

The Klamath largescale sucker ruled large parts of their river reservoirs in u.s and California along wi some native and non-native rivers as well. However, since the last few years, a total 90% decline in their population is observed.

The juveniles of this species flourish the best in abundant and well-oxygenated streams. These species do not react pretty well to bad water, thus today their population is only restricted to some aquatic reservoirs only some of them are southern Oregon and northern California.

The upper Klamath lake is also a suitable habitat for these fishes. However, dissolved oxygen and regular flowering streams are very important for their larvae and eggs. To learn more about such wonders of nature, do not forget to check out our other articles on suckerfish and pumpkinseed sunfish!

Shortnose Sucker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a shortnose sucker?

A shortnose sucker, Chasmistes brevirostris, is a type of fish, they are found throughout the upper Klamath basin. Their spawning is mostly documented in the clear lake, these fishes are freshwater fish of the family and are very similar to few other species such as Paleozoic and Mesozoic actinopterygians.

What class of animal does a shortnose sucker belong to?

The shortnose sucker, Chasmistes brevirostris, belongs to the Actinopterygii class. This species is considered endangered species under the fish and wildlife service.

How many shortnose suckers are there in the world?

The sucker shortnose is one of the rarest species, which are continuously under threat due to soil erosion and lack of spawning sites. Other reasons which lead to threatening the life of these species are also over-harvesting and not enough space for their larval.

Draining and pollutions in the lake and river sources also resulted in their population decline. Although, recovery acts are made, yet the Klamath shortnose sucker is only alive in fragments, and their entire population at the moment is not counted.

Where does a shortnose sucker live?

A shortnose sucker, Chasmistes brevirostris, is native to southern Oregon and few other parts of the U.S. A preferable and ideal habitat would be one where they have plenty of area for spawn and dissolved oxygen quantity of very high. Shallow turbid and alkaline water and river sources are also ideal for this species.

Their main habitat is the lost river basin and upper Klamath river along with northern California.

What is a shortnose sucker's habitat?

The shoreline is one of the favorite places of this population. Although most of their adult populations live deeper in the lake and river reservoirs. A shortnose lake sucker relies heavily on the streams and dense vegetation to spawn and fertilize its eggs.

The juvenile mostly lives near shorelines and wetland areas around lakes with adequate oxygen. Juvenile suckers put priority on shoreline vegetation and rive habitats for rearing their larvae. The range is however very small, as these fish are constantly suffering from habitat loss.

Who do shortnose suckers live with?

The juveniles live very deep in the rivers, but they also require the shorelines for their eggs. Thus, their deal neighbors are the freshwater fishes. Black molly and rainbow trouts are the common neighbors to these species.

How long does a shortnose sucker live?

In an ideal environment, a sucker shortnose(Deltistes luxatus) can live for many years. In fact, when provided with proper and clear rivers and aquatic environments, they thrive abundantly. Their life expectancy is around 35-40 years in their ideal habitat. Many recovery plans and acts are still in action to save this species from extinction.

How do they reproduce?

An average adult gains reproductive health after six to seven years. The juvenile migrates to rivers in between March in order to spawn. Shoreline vegetation plays a crucial role in the rearing of the larval.

These species also breed in spring, around February to late April. The reproduction fairly depends on the temperature of the lake.

The fertilized shortnose sucker settle down at the bottom of the clean stream and lay their eggs. It takes around two weeks for the eggs to develop and hatch. The eggs hatch around April and June.

What is their conservation status?

 There are various fish and wildlife service organizations constantly working towards saving this species. Although at present, their conservation status is endangered, the shortnose suckers are an endangered species.

Shortnose Sucker Fun Facts

What do shortnose suckers look like?

This Klamath largescale sucker can grow up to 15.7-19.6 in (40-50 cm) when fully mature. These species have large heads and relatively thin lips.

It is easy to identify them when compared with other species because of their oblique mouth. Their deeply notched lower lips are very different from other species. Their back is dark in color, while their underparts are silvery.

These fishes can live for surprisingly long periods of time when provided with proper resources.*Please note that this image is of a white sucker, not a shortnose sucker. If you have an image of a shortnose sucker, please let us know at

How cute are they?

This native of the Klamath basin is adorable in its ways. Thir terminal mouth and deeply-notched lower lip make these juvenile suckers very adorable.

How do they communicate?

In their natural habitat, these populations communicate very affectedly through various techniques. In their natural habitat, these residents of upper Klamath lake communicate through odor and sound. The electrical impulses are also very important while navigating their way for spawning.

How big is a shortnose sucker?

This native of Oregon can grow about 15.7-19.6 in (40-50 cm) in size. However, these fishes are almost similar in size when compared with longhorn cowfish. The shortnose suckers are four times smaller in size when compared with a milkfish.

How fast can a shortnose sucker swim?

Shortnose suckers are excellent in swimming, as they are very familiar with regular streams. Even during their regular spawning practices, the adult shortnose suckers are quite quick and are on alert all the time as they are on a direct shoreline. Thus, this range of practices pretty much advocates for their fast swimming in the lakes.

How much does a shortnose sucker weigh?

Shortnose suckers weigh around 1.1-1.3 lb (0.5-0.6 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

In their native area is the Klamath basin or areas such as Oregon, both the sexes are addressed with the same name. One can either call them with their scientific name or their common local name.

What would you call a baby shortnose sucker?

Shortnose sucker babies mostly spawn in the lost rivers or the Klamath basin. The Babies of shortnose suckers are called fry like any other fish species.

What do they eat?

Shortnose suckers require a number of things when it comes to their survival. Their diet in lakes or their river habitat consists of debris, microscopic animals, and sea or river algae.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous at all, rather they are an endangered species and are in danger due to various natural and human activities.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they can make a good pet, but it's very important to assure that their tank is well oxygenated and the neighboring fish does not possess any range of danger to this calm resident of upper Klamath lake.

Did you know...

Competition among native and non-native fishes in Oregon also remained a crucial reason for these species to become endangered.

It is endemic to Southern Oregan and Northern California.

What type of fish is a shortnose sucker?

These fish live in the lost river, upper Klamath lake, and also a few other freshwater lakes and rivers. They strictly prefer freshwater for their spawning. There are various populations of fish, which cannot survive on hard water, the shortnose suckers are one of these.

What other species of suckerfish are there?

Other species found in the lost river of suckerfish are hog sucker, buffalo fish, and carpsucker. Although, not all of them are considered endangered species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our fluke fish facts and drum fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable shortnose suckerfish coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of an Owen's sucker, not a shortnose sucker. If you have an image of a shortnose sucker, please let us know at

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

Monika Sharma picture

Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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