University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Sculpin family - cottidae,   pp. 963-981 ff. PDF (8.9 MB)

Page 970

970    Sculpin Family-Cottidae 
and Superior. Creene (1935) found it in 2.4% of the 
total river collections, 19.2% of the collections from 
smaller streams, and 4.9% of the lake collections. 
   The mottled sculpin is common in cold headwater 
 streams throughout the state, where it is frequently 
 the most common fish in the sample. It is common at 
 barriers in the mouths of tributaries to Lake Superior 
 (McLain et al. 1965). In Lake Winnebago, it is com- 
 mon along the shoreline (Priegel 1967b). It is rare 
 along the shoals of southern Lake Michigan, but be- 
 comes more common northward. 
 In Wisconsin the mottled sculpin was encountered 
 most frequently in clear or slightly turbid water at 
 depths of 0.1-0.5 m, over substrates of sand (23% fre- 
 quency), gravel (22%), silt (16%), rubble (12%), mud 
 (12%), boulders (8%), detritus (4%), bedrock (1%), 
 and clay (1%). It occurred in streams of the following 
 widths: 1.0-3.0 m (41%), 3.1-6.0 m (20%), 6.1-12.0 
 m (16%), 12.1-24.0 m (17%), and 24.1-50.0 m (8%). 
 It is found in pools and in medium to fast riffles in 
 the vicinity of cover, which may be in the form of 
vegetation or of bottom materials such as gravel and 
                  Range of the mottled sculpin 
                  0 Specimens examined 
                  A  Wisconsin Fish Distribution Study (1974-75) 
                  0 Literature and reports 
                  0 Greene (1935) 
 rubble. The distribution of the mctled sculpin is more 
 dependent on available shelter than on bottom type. 
 In Wisconsin, the mottled sculpin spawns in April 
 and May Ludwig and Norden (1969) observed 
 spawning in Mt. Vernon Creek (Dane County), and 
 unless otherwise designated the following account is 
 derived from that source. 
 In Mt. Vernon Creek, spawning occurred from 1 
 April to 3 May at water temperatures of 8.9-13.9°C 
 (48-57°F). The mottled sculpin nests consisted of cav- 
 ities beneath flat rocks at depths of 22 cm, in areas of 
 sufficient current to prevent silting. Other nests were 
 observed in crevices among large gravel (5-8 cm 
 diam), on Elodea, and in tunnels within loam mate- 
 rial. The tunnels had openings of about 4 cm diam, 
 and were more than 15 cm deep. One of the deepest 
 tunnels contained the largest egg cluster (2,874 eggs), 
but it was not determined whether these holes were 
made by the sculpins. Entrances to the nests usually 
faced the middle of the stream or upstream. The bot- 

Go up to Top of Page