endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) Range includes the Klamath River and Lost River-Clear Lake systems of Oregon and California (Moyle 2002). The species is known from Upper Klamath Lake, the entire Sprague River, the lower 20 kilometers of the Sycan River, the lower Williamson River, the Williamson River above Klamath Marsh, and the Clear Lake-Lost River system (Andreasen 1975). In California, the species occurs mainly in the Lost River drainage and in the Klamath River above Iron Gate Reservoir (Moyle et al. 1989, Moyle 2002). It occurs in the Klamath River below Klamath Falls but exists mostly above the falls (Moyle et al. 1989). Core populations are in Oregon.
Length: 45 cm
Catalog Number: USNM 48222
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): C. Gilbert, Cramer & Otaki
Year Collected: 1894
Locality: Klamath Falls, or., Oregon, United States, North America
Habitat and Ecology
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Comments: Habitat includes rocky pools and runs of creeks and small rivers, lakes, and reservoirs (Page and Burr 2011). Historically, most large adults probably inhabited lakes (especially deep water), and juveniles lived in streams or in lake shallows (Moyle 2002). The species is largely absent from highly eutrophic Upper and Lower Klamath Lakes, except where inflowing streams improve water quality (Scoppentone and Vinyard 1991, Moyle 2002). Today these suckers occur mainly in large streams with good water quality. Streams that support C. snyderi populations rarely exceed 25 C (Moyle 2002). Spawning occurs in upstream tributaries.
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Upstream spawning migrations can be extensive (Moyle 2002).
Comments: Diet presumably includes benthic animals; larvae eat zooplankton.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Comments: This species is represented by several distinct occurrences.
10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. Page and Burr (2011) described this species as "common." Ellsworth et al. (2011) noted that more than 5,000 individuals have been PIT-tagged since 2000.
Life history probably similar to the Sacramento sucker.
Life History and Behavior
Spawning migrations from Upper Klamath Lake occur from March to early May (Andreasen 1975, Moyle 2002). Individuals become mature probably in 4-6 years and may live at least 31 years (see Moyle 2002).
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Needs updating
- 1994Rare(Groombridge 1994)
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Poorly known species with small range in Klamath River and Lost River-Clear Lake systems, in California and Oregon; occurs in waters highly modified by dams, diversions, pollution, and introduced predators; hybridizes with other suckers.
Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Comments: Distribution and abundance likely have declined over the past three generations (three generations is likely at least 30 years), but the degree of decline is unknown. Moyle (2002) stated that this species may be on its way to becoming a threatened species, especially in California, which is on the edge of the limited range. He stated that Oregon populations are in relatively good shape. Ellsworth et al. (2011) reported that recruitment to the adult population has occurred in a number of years since 2001.
Global Long Term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Comments: Area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, abundance, and habitat quality have surely declined, but the degree of decline is uncertain. This species is possibly extirpated from California (Moyle 2002).
Degree of Threat: Medium
Comments: This species occurs in an environment that has been highly modified by dams, diversions, grazing, pollution, and introductions of non-native predatory fishes (e.g., Sacramento perch and yellow perch) (Moyle 2002). Its ability to use fish ladders has somewhat reduced the impact of dams (Scoppetone and Vinyard 1991). Hybridization with other suckers may be a threat in some areas.
Jelks et al. (2008) listed this species as "threatened," based on present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range; other natural or anthropogenic factors that affect a taxon's existence, including impacts of nonindigenous organisms, hybridization, competition, and/or predation; and a narrowly restricted range.
Removal of a dam on one tributary resulted in a substantial increase in the number of individuals that migrated upstream past the dam site (Ellsworth et al. 2011).
Biological Research Needs: Better information is needed on life history and habitat requirements.
Global Protection: None. No occurrences appropriately protected and managed
Needs: Protection of spawning areas and provision of adequate flows for spawning may be important elements of an effective conservation package. Part of the Klamath River drainage should be dedicated as a refuge for this and other native fishes.
Klamath largescale sucker
- Gimenez Dixon, M. 1996. Catostomus snyderi. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Catostomus snyderi" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
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Names and Taxonomy
Comments: This species presumably is closely related to Catostomus macrocheilus of the Columbia River drainage and to C. occidentalis of the Sacramento drainage (Moyle et al. 1989). Catostomus snyderi shares a gene pool with Catostomus rimiculus, Chasmistes brevirostris, and Deltistes luxatus as a result of recent hybridization events, although the species largely maintain their morphological identities (Moyle 2002). Catostomus snyderi hybridizes with Deltistes luxatus and Chasmistes brevirostris (both endangered); strong introgression involving C. brevirostris has been noted in the Clear Lake and Lost River systems, Oregon and California (Andreasen 1975). Catostomus snyderi has hybridized with Deltistes luxatus and Chasmistes brevirostris in Upper Klamath Lake, but no introgression has occurred and distinct species still are present (Moyle et al. 1989). Catostomus snyderi in the Sprague River (a tributary to upper Klamath Lake in Oregon) is genetically distinct from all other suckers; taxonomic status needs further study (Tranah 2001).
See Smith (1992) for a study of the phylogeny and biogeography of the Catostomidae.