Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Mike Ottenbacher
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The mountain sucker, Catostomus platyrhynchus, occurs in much of the western (but not the southwestern) United States and parts of western Canada. A native Utah species, the mountain sucker can be found in Utah's Bonneville Basin, as well as in the Colorado River system. Mountain suckers are common in Utah, and prefer the clear, cold water of streams with gravel substrate.

Mountain suckers are benthic (bottom dwelling) fish that eat algae, higher plants, and occasionally invertebrates. The species spawns during spring and summer over gravel riffles in streams. Because mountain suckers are small (usually about six to eight inches in length), and are often found in trout waters, the species can be an important food item for trout.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.