The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Couesius plumbeus
Couesius plumbeus
(Lake Chub)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Couesius plumbeus (Agassiz, 1850)

Common name: Lake Chub

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Scott and Crossman (1973); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991). Gilbert (1998) recognized three distinct subspecies: C. p. plumbeus, C. p. greeni, and one formerly known as C. p. dissimilis (a name no longer available).

Size: 23 cm.

Native Range: Throughout much of Canada and northern United States; south to Delaware River, New York; southern end of Lake Michigan, Illinois; Platte River system, Colorado; and Columbia River drainage, Washington. Relict populations in Mississippi River basin, Iowa (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Couesius plumbeus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
MI199019922Au Sable; Thornapple
MT199420094Lower Milk; Madison; Marias; St. Marys
NE198519931Middle Niobrara
OH201720171Lake Erie
WY198019996Big Sandy; Upper Green; Upper Green; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Green-Slate; Yellowstone Headwaters

Table last updated 6/17/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Probably introduced by bait bucket release (Baxter and Simon 1970).

Status: Established in the Green River drainage and in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming (Baxter and Simon 1970).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Wydoski and Whitney (1979) stated the species is not native to Idaho and that it has been introduced into the panhandle region, however, Simpson and Wallace (1978), Lee et al. (1980 et seq.), and Page and Burr (1991) depicted the species' range to include northern Idaho and made no mention of it being introduced there. We believe it is probably native to the Kootenai drainage in northern Idaho. According to C. Gilbert (personal communication), its occurrence in the upper Colorado basin may have involved an introduction; however, he also noted that the species may have entered the Colorado basin by way of a localized stream capture involving a tributary of the Colorado and the upper Platte River. Gilbert (1998) discussed the distribution of this species in his account of Ceratichthys squamilentus.

Voucher specimens: Wyoming (currently in C. Wheeler's possession but will be placed in the UWL museum).

References: (click for full references)

Hubert, W. 1994. Exotic fishes, p 158-174 in T.L. Parish and S.H. Anderson (eds). Exotic Species Manual. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Laramie.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Leo Nico

Revision Date: 3/27/2014

Peer Review Date: 3/27/2014

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Leo Nico, 2024, Couesius plumbeus (Agassiz, 1850): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=513, Revision Date: 3/27/2014, Peer Review Date: 3/27/2014, Access Date: 6/17/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/17/2024].

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