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Razorback Sucker Xyrauchen texanus


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Razorback Sucker
© Hans Stuart/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Catostomidae, Suckers view all from this family

Dimensions Up to 3' (91 cm).

Endangered Status The Razorback Sucker is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Before the Colorado River was dammed, it contained large populations of fish adapted to its turbulent waters, its temperatures, and its food sources. These included the Razorback Sucker, the Colorado Squawfish, and the Bonytail and Humpback Chubs. Today all of these once plentiful native fish are rare or endangered. The massive Glen Canyon, Hoover, Davis, Parker, and Imperial Dams created large, still reservoirs with calm, silty bottoms impossible foraging grounds for these river fish. The dams blocked migratory routes, and water released from the bottoms of the dams was too cold for the fry of these fish. Dozens of alien species of bait and game fish were introduced, to the detriment of local species. Below the diversion canals, what little water remains is frequently too warm for the river fish. Now small in number and size, these native species hang on chiefly in hatcheries and upstream branches of the river. The Colorado River Fish Recovery Team and other groups are working to bring the nave fishes back to stretches of river between the dams.

Habitat Rivers & streams, Lakes & ponds.

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California.