Golden Redhorse

Media
Golden redhorse side view photo with black background
Scientific Name
Moxostoma erythrurum
Family
Catostomidae (suckers) in the order Cypriniformes (carps, minnows, and loaches)
Description

The golden redhorse is a smaller-bodied sucker with large scales and a short dorsal fin. The lower lip is broken into parallel folds, and the rear margin of the lower lip forms a V-shaped angle.

Common Name Synonyms
Yellow Sucker
Golden Sucker
Size

Total length: 9 to 15 inches; maximum about 17 inches.

Where To Find
image of Golden Redhorse Distribution Map

Ozark and northeast Missouri streams.

Occurs in pools and riffles of moderately clear permanent streams with moderate siltation, moderate current, and gravel or rocky bottoms. The most commonly gigged sucker in Missouri.

Forages on the bottoms of pools for various invertebrates, such as larval midges, mayflies, and caddisflies.

Nongame.

Life Cycle

Individuals can live for 11 years or more.

Much of the gigging and snagging harvest of redhorse suckers in Ozark streams is of this species and its relative the black redhorse ("white sucker"). Also caught on hook and line. Scored and deep-fried, the Y bones disappear; the firm, sweet flesh is delicious.

We often don't think about the interconnections between aquatic food chains and terrestrial ones, but when bottom-feeding redhorses limit (or "check") the populations of aquatic larval midges, mayflies, and caddisflies, they influence how many of these insects live to become flying, terrestrial adults.

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About Fishes in Missouri
Missouri has more than 200 kinds of fish, more than are found in most neighboring states. Fishes live in water, breathe with gills, and have fins instead of legs. Most are covered with scales. Most fish in Missouri “look” like fish and could never be confused with anything else. True, lampreys and eels have snakelike bodies — but they also have fins and smooth, slimy skin, which snakes do not.