Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits lakes and quiet, vegetated, mud or sand-bottomed pools of headwaters, creeks and small to large rivers. Distinct subspecies: Gila bicolor snyderi (protected) in Owens River, California; Gila bicolor mohavensis (protected) in Mojave River, California; Gila bicolor bicolor in Klamath River system in Oregon and California; Gila bicolor obesa, a stream and spring-inhabiting form and G. b. pectinifer, a lake-inhabiting form, both in Lake Lahontan basin in Nevada.
  • Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
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Distribution

Range Description

Range includes the Columbia River drainage in Washington and Oregon, and extends south in the Klamath River and upper Pit River drainages, and interior drainages of California and Nevada, to the Mohave River in southern California (Page and Burr 2011). Regarded as introduced in Idaho (C. Harris, pers. comm., 2000).
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North America: Columbia River drainage in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, USA south in Klamath and upper Pit River (in Sacramento River drainage) and interior drainages of Nevada and California to Mohave River in southern California, USA.
  • Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
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endemic to a single nation

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Range includes the Columbia River drainage in Washington and Oregon, and extends south in the Klamath River and upper Pit River drainages, and interior drainages of California and Nevada, to the Mohave River in southern California (Page and Burr 2011). Regarded as introduced in Idaho (C. Harris, pers. comm., 2000).

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Historic Range:
U.S.A. (OR)

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Western U.S.A.
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California, U.S.A. [subspecies *vaccaceps*].
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Oregon and Nevada, U.S.A. [subspecies *eurysoma*].
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California, U.S.A. [subspecies *snyderi*].
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Nevada, U.S.A. [subspecies *newarkensis*].
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Nevada, U.S.A. [subspecies *isolata*]
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Nevada, U.S.A. [subspecies *euchila*].
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Western U.S.A.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 36 cm

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Maximum size: 450 mm TL
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Maximum size: 450 mm TL
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Max. size

45.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723))
  • Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr 1991 A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)
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Diagnostic Description

Has usually more dorsal rays than do Alvord and Borax Lake chubs (usually 8 vs. usually 7). Not as slender as the blue chub and has a smaller mouth (mouth extends to front of eye in blue chub); averages fewer lateral scales than in blue chub (58-71 in blue chub) (Page and Burr 1991).

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Type Information

Syntype; Paralectotype for Algansea formosa Girard
Catalog Number: USNM 197
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): Heerman
Year Collected: 1853
Locality: Mohave River, California., California, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Girard, C. F. 1857. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 8: 183.; Paralectotype: Gilbert, C. R. 4 February 1998. Special Publication, Florida Museum of Natural History. No. 1: 81.
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Syntype; Lectotype for Algansea formosa Girard
Catalog Number: USNM 196
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Photograph
Collector(s): A. Heermann
Year Collected: 1853
Locality: Mercede R., California, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Girard, C. F. 1857. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 8: 183.; Lectotype: Gilbert, C. R. 4 February 1998. Special Publication, Florida Museum of Natural History. No. 1: 81.
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Paratype for Rutilus oregonensis
Catalog Number: USNM 59840
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Locality: Abert Lake, Lake Co., Oregon, Lake County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype:
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Paratype for Rutilus columbianus Snyder
Catalog Number: USNM 59841
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Collector(s): J. Snyder, E. Starks, E. Morris & United States Bureau of Fisheries (USBF)
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Warm Sprgs., Harney Co., Oregon, Harney County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Snyder, J. O. 1908. Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 27 (for 1907): 92, fig. 4.
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Holotype for Rutilus columbianus Snyder
Catalog Number: USNM 55595
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Collector(s): J. Snyder, E. Starks, E. Morris & United States Bureau of Fisheries (USBF)
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Warm Springs, Harney Lake, Ore., Harney County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Holotype: Snyder, J. O. 1908. Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 27 (for 1907): 92, fig. 4.
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Paratype for Rutilus columbianus Snyder
Catalog Number: USNM 58352
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): J. Snyder & United States Bureau of Fisheries (USBF)
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Warm Springs, Ore., Harney County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Snyder, J. O. 1908. Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 27 (for 1907): 92, fig. 4.
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Paratype for Rutilus columbianus Snyder
Catalog Number: USNM 58196
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Collector(s): J. Snyder & United States Bureau of Fisheries (USBF)
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Warm Springs, Ore., Harney County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Snyder, J. O. 1908. Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 27 (for 1907): 92, fig. 4.
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Paratype for Rutilus oregonensis
Catalog Number: USNM 58357
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Locality: Spring N. End Abert Lake, Lake Co. Ore., Lake County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype:
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Paratype for Rutilus oregonensis
Catalog Number: USNM 58212
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Locality: Silver Crk., Silver Lake, Ore., Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype:
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Syntype; Paralectotype for Algansea formosa Girard
Catalog Number: USNM 344864
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): A. Heermann
Year Collected: 1853
Locality: Mercede R., California, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Girard, C. F. 1857. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 8: 183.; Paralectotype: Gilbert, C. R. 4 February 1998. Special Publication, Florida Museum of Natural History. No. 1: 81.
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Paratype for Rutilus columbianus Snyder
Catalog Number: USNM 125665
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): J. Snyder, E. Starks & E. Morris
Year Collected: 1904
Locality: Harney Co Oregon: Warm Springs, Harney County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Snyder, J. O. 1908. Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. 27 (for 1907): 92, fig. 4.
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Holotype for Algansea bicolor
Catalog Number: USNM 192
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Photograph
Collector(s): Newberry
Locality: Klamath Lake, Klamath County, Oregon, United States, North America
  • Holotype:
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Holotype for Rutilus oregonensis
Catalog Number: USNM 55596
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Radiograph
Locality: XL Spring, Abert (Albert) Lake, Ore. (Ledger states Albert Lake but publication states Abert Lake)., Oregon, United States, North America
  • Holotype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Columbia River Habitat

The Columbia River Basin of western North America is an important habitat fo the 45 centimeter (cm) long benthopelagic Tui chub (Gila bicolor). The Columbia River is the largest North American watercourse by volume that discharges to the Pacific Ocean. With headwaters at Columbia Lake, in Canadian British Columbia, the course of the river has a length of approximately 2000 kilometers and a drainage basin that includes most of the land area of Washington, Oregon and Idaho as well as parts of four other U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

The hydrology and aquatic habitat of the Columbia River basin has been adversely altered by numerous large dams. There are over 250 reservoirs and around 150 hydroelectric projects in the basin, including 18 mainstem dams on the Columbia and its main tributary, the Snake River.

Water quality has deteriorated over the last century, due to agricultural runoff and logging practices, as well as water diversions that tend to concentrate pollutants in the reduced water volume. For example nitrate levels in the Columbia generally tripled in the period from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s, increasing from a typical level of one to three milligrams per liter. Considerable loading of herbicides and pesticides also has occurred over the last 70 years, chiefly due to agricultural land conversion and emphasis upon maximizing crop yields.

Heavy metal concentrations in sediment and in fish tissue had become an issue in the latter half of the twentieth century; however, considerable progress has been made beginning in the 1980s with implementation of provisions of the U.S.Clean Water Act, involving attention to smelter and paper mill discharges along the Columbia.

Another large benthopelagic fish in the Columbia is the northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) . Other large demersal vertebrate species occurring in the Columbia Basin are the 55 cm Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus); the 61 cm largescale sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus); the 64 cm longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus catostomus); the 65 cm Utah sucker (Catostomus ardens); and the 76 cm Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata).

  • C.Michael Hogan. 2012. Columbia River. Eds. P.Saundry & C.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC www.eoearth.org/article/Columbia_River?topic=78166
  • Fishbase. 2010. Fish species in the Columbia River Basin
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species usually occurs in weedy shallows of lakes or in mud- or sand-bottomed pools of slow-moving headwaters, creeks, and small to medium rivers (Moyle 1976, Page and Burr 2011). In lakes, tui chubs spend winter in deep water; move to shallow water in spring. In summer, this chub also occurs in deep water and in surface waters over deep water. Spawning usually occurs in shallow water where eggs settle to the bottom or adhere to aquatic vegetation. Young remain close to shore near heavy vegetation for most of summer (Sigler and Sigler 1987).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: This species usually occurs in weedy shallows of lakes or in mud- or sand-bottomed pools of slow-moving headwaters, creeks, and small to medium rivers (Moyle 1976, Page and Burr 2011). In lakes, tui chubs spend winter in deep water; move to shallow water in spring. In summer, this chub also occurs in deep water and in surface waters over deep water. Spawning usually occurs in shallow water where eggs settle to the bottom or adhere to aquatic vegetation. Young remain close to shore near heavy vegetation for most of summer (Sigler and Sigler 1987).

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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater
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Columbia River Benthopelagic Habitat

This taxon is one of a several benthopelagic species in the Columbia River system. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton. The Columbia River is the largest North American watercourse by volume that discharges to the Pacific Ocean. With headwaters at Columbia Lake, in Canadian British Columbia, the course of the river has a length of approximately 2000 kilometers and a drainage basin that includes most of the land area of Washington, Oregon and Idaho as well as parts of four other U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

The Columbia River Basin of northwestern North America is an important habitat for Acipenser transmontanus. The Columbia River is the largest North American watercourse by volume that discharges to the Pacific Ocean. With headwaters at Columbia Lake, in Canadian British Columbia, the course of the river has a length of approximately 2000 kilometers and a drainage basin that includes most of the land area of Washington, Oregon and Idaho as well as parts of four other U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.

The hydrology and aquatic habitat of the Columbia River basin has been adversely altered by numerous large dams. There are over 250 reservoirs and around 150 hydroelectric projects in the basin, including 18 mainstem dams on the Columbia and its main tributary, the Snake River.

Water quality in the Columbia River has deteriorated over the last century, due to agricultural runoff and logging practices, as well as water diversions that tend to concentrate pollutants in the reduced water volume. For example nitrate levels in the Columbia generally tripled in the period from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s, increasing from a typical level of one to three milligrams per liter. Considerable loading of herbicides and pesticides also has occurred over the last 70 years, chiefly due to agricultural land conversion and emphasis upon maximizing crop yields.

Heavy metal concentrations in sediment and in fish tissue had become an issue in the latter half of the twentieth century; however, considerable progress has been made beginning in the 1980s with implementation of provisions of the U.S.Clean Water Act, involving attention to smelter and paper mill discharges along the Columbia.

Some of the large benthopelagic native fish species in the Columbia are the 63 cm northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) and the 45 cm Tui chub (Gila bicolor).

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Migration

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.

Migrates seasonally between different habitats.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Adults opportunistic. They feed on plant material, plankton, insect larvae, crustaceans, fish fry and fish eggs, etc. Young feed on zooplankton. Coarse-rakered form eats more plant material, fine-rakered form more zooplankton.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300

Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

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Global Abundance

100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but quite large (likely greater than 100,000). This species is common or locally abundant in some areas.

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General Ecology

May serve as a forage fish for large trout and largemouth bass. In some situations may overpopulate lakes and reservoirs and compete with trout.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: May become semi-dormant in deep water of lakes in winter.

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Reproduction

Spawning peaks in June at low to mid-60s F in Pyramid Lake, ends by late July in Lake Tahoe. Multiple spawning by one female may be common. Eggs hatch in 10-12 days. Females mature usually at 2-3 years, males usually at 2 years.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
NatureServe

Reviewer/s
Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because extent of occurrence, number of subpopulations, and population size are relatively large, and because the species probably is not declining fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Threatened
Date Listed: 03/28/1985
Lead Region:   Pacific Region (Region 1) 
Where Listed: Entire


Population detail:

Population location: Entire
Listing status: T

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Gila bicolor, see its USFWS Species Profile

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Population

Population
This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Total adult population size is unknown but quite large (likely greater than 100,000). This species is common or locally abundant in some areas.

Trend over the past three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining. Some populations are declining whereas others are secure.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%

Comments: Trend over the past three generations is uncertain but probably relatively stable or slowly declining. Some populations are declining whereas others are secure.

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Threats

Major Threats
Most populations are abundant within their limited ranges, but restricted geographic range makes them vulnerable to local extinction (Moyle et al. 1989). The species is declining in some areas due to habitat degradation and introduced species.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Comments: Most populations are abundant within their limited ranges, but restricted geographic range makes them vulnerable to local extinction (Moyle et al. 1989). The species is declining in some areas due to habitat degradation and introduced species.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species--as a whole--is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action. However, many local populations/subspecies are of conservation concern.
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Wikipedia

Tui chub

The Tui chub, Gila bicolor,[1] is a cyprinid fish native to western North America. Widespread in many areas, it is an important food source for other fish, including the cutthroat trout.

Range[edit]

The Tui chub's range includes the Lahontan and Central system of the Great Basin, as well as the Owens and Mojave Rivers.[2] It is found in the Pit River and Goose Lake of the upper Central Valley, in the Klamath River system, and in the Columbia River drainage.

Description[edit]

The form and appearance of the Tui chub is variable; many were originally described as different species by J. O. Snyder, but have since been reduced to subspecies. In general, the color is deep olive above and white below, with a smooth variation in shading along the sides, and a brassy reflection. Fins are olive and sometimes tinted with red. The pectoral fins are far forward and low on the body. Length has been recorded at up to 45 centimetres (18 in), but 25 centimetres (10 in) is more typical.

Habitat and behavior[edit]

Tui chubs are found in a variety of habitats, including anything from small streams to large lakes and reservoirs, and both high cold lakes, such as Lake Tahoe, and warmer desert streams.

They spawn between late April and early August, depending on temperatures. In Pyramid Lake the peak season is June; males move inshore first, then congregate around arriving females in shallow water, preferring areas of heavy vegetation. The female scatters her eggs randomly over a wide area, where they are then fertilized by several males. The hatchlings remain in the heavy vegetation for the remainder of the summer. In Lake Tahoe some chubs spawn around stream mouths in July.

Tui chub diet is varied; young fish eat mostly invertebrates, adding plant material and especially algae as they mature. Habits also vary by location and the fineness of the gill rakers, so for instance fine-rakered forms in Pyramid Lake feed more on plankton in open water than the coarse-rakered forms, who live near the botton and eats more plants and algae. The largest individuals will eat other fish also. In Pyramid Lake the endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout feeds on the Tui chub; the Lahontan cutthroat trout has been studied extensively due to water management decisions affected the water quality of the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.[3]

Subspecies[edit]

The exact number of subspecies is not known; Sigler & Sigler estimate as high as 16. Agreed subspecies include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • ITIS (2006) "Gila bicolor". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 April 2006. 
  • C.M.Hogan, Marc Papineau et al., Development of a dynamic water quality simulation model for the Truckee River, Earth Metrics Inc., Environmental Protection Agency Technology Series Washington D.C. (1987)
  • William F. Sigler and John W. Sigler, Fishes of the Great Basin (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1987), pp. 166-170
  • Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Gila bicolor" in FishBase. March 2006 version.

Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ ITIS, 2006
  2. ^ FishBase, 2006
  3. ^ C.M. Hogan, 1987
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Geographic isolation in endorheic drainages in the western U.S. has led to formation of many distinctive forms (at least 13 subspecies), but relationships are unclear (Lee et al. 1980) and most forms remain undescribed (Moyle et al. 1989). There are many isolated populations that are morphologically similar (Moyle et al. 1989). A comprehensive study of intraspecific variation is needed (Page and Burr 1991, Starnes 1995).

Harris (2001) found a close genetic relationship between tui chubs in the Cow Head, Warner, and Goose Lake basins and recognized them as a single species, S. thalassinus, with two lineages (Goose Lake basin; Pluvial Warner basin, including Cow Head and Warner basins). Nelson et al. (2004) and Catalog of Fishes (as of March 2013) recognized thalassinus as a subspecies of Siphateles bicolor. Harris (2001) also recognized as distinct spcies Siphateles obesa and S. eurysomas, which were retained in Siphateles bicolor by Nelson et al. (2004) and the Catalog of Fishes (as of March 2013).

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