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

Smallmouth Buffalo Ictiobus bubalus

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 55 bioassessment sites, 0 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 17 fisheries assessment sites, and 0 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 72 distinct sites, or 5.6% of the 1297 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 58th most commonly collected species.

The Smallmouth Buffalo was collected in 71 bioassessment sampling sessions and 17 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 0 rapid bioassessment sessions and 0 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 707 individual Smallmouth Buffalo specimens, ranking it the #67 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

Body color is bluish-gray dorsally blending into silvery blue sides, fading into white or yellowish on the belly. Its body is compressed, and the back is elevated giving a hump-backed look. The mouth is small, sub-terminal, nearly horizontal and extends distinctly downward. Its head is small and compressed with thick strongly-grooved lips. The lateral line is complete with 36 to 38 large scales. The dorsal fin is sickle-shaped with 26 to 31 fin rays.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found