Common name: Creek Chub
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).
Size: 30 cm.
Native Range: Most of eastern United States and southeastern Canada in Atlantic, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, Mississippi, and Gulf basins as far west as Manitoba, eastern Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas, but absent from southern Georgia and peninsular Florida; isolated population in upper Pecos and Canadian River systems, New Mexico (Page and Burr 1991).
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 Semotilus atromaculatus are found here.
Table last updated 2/27/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: Most introductions probably via bait bucket release. Woodling (1985) stated that the Colorado West Slope populations are the result of accidental introduction by man. Hubbs (1957) stated that western records in Texas, and a report from Lake Texoma "have undoubtedly resulted from bait release."
Status: Introduced populations are established in Colorado and Wyoming; probably established in Utah. The species has been present in the Snake River, Green River drainage, since at least the 1940s, but never in abundance (Holden and Stalnaker 1975). Status unknown in Texas.
Impact of Introduction: According to Baxter and Simon (1970), in some situations populations of this species may compete with trout, but the authors did not give details. Beckman (1974) reported that Creek Chub prey on trout. Magnan and Fitzgerald (1984) provided evidence that introduced Creek Chub are a potential competitor with brook charr Salvelinus fontinalis. In their study of a Quebec stream, they found that charr changed their diet from benthic invertebrates to zooplankton in the presence of chub. Subsequent laboratory experiments suggested that higher relative abundance of Creek Chub was one of several important factors in the observed niche shift of brook charr in nature (Magnan and Fitzgerald 1984). Competition with and predation by nonnative species (i.e., Catostomus sp., Creek Chub Semotilus atromaculatus, redside shiner Richardsonius balteatus, burbot Lota lota, brown trout Salmo trutta, and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush) limit populations of the rare bluehead sucker Catostomus discobolus (Wyoming Game and Fish Department 2010).
References: (click for full references)
Baxter, G.T., and J.R. Simon. 1970. Wyoming fishes. Bulletin No. 4. Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Cheyenne, WY.
Beckman, W.C. 1974. Guide to the fishes of Colorado. University of Colorado Museum, Boulder, Colorado.
Magnan, P., and G.J. Fitzgerald. 1984. Mechanisms responsible for the niche shift of brook char, Salvelinus fontinalis Mitchill, when living sympatrically with creek chub, Semotilus atromaculatus Mitchill. Canadian Journal of Zoology 62:1543-1555.
Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller
Revision Date: 3/7/2011
Peer Review Date: 3/7/2011
Leo Nico, and Pam Fuller, 2023, Semotilus atromaculatus (Mitchill, 1818): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=649, Revision Date: 3/7/2011, Peer Review Date: 3/7/2011, Access Date: 3/30/2023
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.