Minytrema melanops

Common name: Suck fish – a name often applied to any member of the sucker family.

Preferred Habitat: Deeper, clear pools primarily in coastal plain rivers and streams. Also may occur in oxbows, lakes and reservoirs. The spotted sucker is intolerant of silt and turbid waters.

Range: Occurs in all drainage’s of North Carolina but the spotted sucker is found primarily in coastal plain waters.

Common Size: 10-14 inches and 1/2 to 1 pound. Approximate Maximum Size: Length 24 inches.

Food Habits: The diet consists of mollusks, insect larvae and other invertebrates.

Spawning: In late winter when the male spotted suckers develop tubercles on their snout it is an indication of the approaching spawning season. Spawning starts with the upstream migration of males and females. Spawning will occur above pools and riffle areas when water temperatures of 59-65°F are obtained. Nocturnal spawning activity is not uncommon. The unattended eggs require 7 to 10 days to hatch.

Miscellaneous: The spotted sucker is one of the species of the sucker family found in North Carolina. Although it is present in all waters, it is most productive in coastal streams and impoundments. Sportsmen often capture spotted suckers as they congregate during their spawning run. Flesh is excellent although not popular because of many bones.