Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

River Carpsucker Carpiodes carpio

Catostomidae (Suckers)
Trophic Class
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 200 bioassessment sites, 0 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 55 fisheries assessment sites, and 4 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 259 distinct sites, or 18% of the 1442 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 31st most commonly collected species.

The River Carpsucker was collected in 309 bioassessment sampling sessions and 66 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 0 rapid bioassessment sessions and 4 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 5,033 individual River Carpsucker specimens, ranking it the #43 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

Stout body with a moderately compressed and slightly arched back. It has a nipple-like projection at the middle of its lower lip. The back is brown-olive with silvery sides fading to a whitish belly. The fins are opaque, except in older fish. Breeding males develop tiny tubercules on the body. River Carpsucker is the largest of the carpsuckers with adults commonly 12- to 18-inches long and weigh 1- to 3-pounds. Individual fish weighing over 10-pounds have been reported.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found