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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

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

Page 975

Slimy Sculpin   975 
Range of the slimy sculpin 
9 Specimens examined 
* Wisconsin Fish Distribution Study (1974-75) 
O Literature and reports 
O Greene (1935) 
County) by the Wisconsin Fish Distribution Study 
(1974-1975). R. M. Bailey (1956) postulated that the 
slimy sculpin and the lake chub (Couesius plumbeus) 
are glacial relicts that survived in the driftless area 
during the Wisconsin glaciation. 
  In the Lake Michigan system, the slimy sculpin oc- 
curs in Lake Michigan and in Green Bay. In 1957, it 
was collected from Big Green Lake (Green Lake 
County) (V Hacker, pers. comm.). Its presence in this 
deep lake suggests that other deep, inland lakes in 
Wisconsin may have populations of slimy sculpins. 
In addition to its occurrence in Lake Superior, it is 
found in numerous tributaries to the lake. 
  The slimy sculpin is uncommon to common in 
tributaries to Lake Superior. It is uncommon in 
streams of southwestern Wisconsin, where it is gen- 
erally confined to springs and to short, spring-fed runs 
of only a few meters to several hundred meters in 
length. Such areas are vulnerable to any number of 
man-induced changes, including siltation. This spe- 
cies is not known in tributaries to Lake Michigan, but 
it does occur in the lake itself. In eastern Lake Mich- 
igan off Grand Haven, Michigan, slimy sculpins were 
almost four times as abundant in 1970 as in 1960. A 
large population of slimy sculpins was observed off 
Saugatuck, Michigan, in 1970 (Wells and McLain 
  Typical habitats of the slimy sculpin are deep, oli- 
gotrophic lakes, or swift, rocky-bottomed streams. 
Coldwater temperatures are obviously preferred, and 
the species is commonly found in association with 
trout or salmon. In streams it appears over sub- 
strates of rubble, boulders, silt, gravel, bedrock, and 
sand, where these are associated with dense growths 
of aquatic plants in moderate to fast currents. 
  In streams of southwestern Wisconsin, the slimy 
sculpin occurs in small springs and in headwater pools 
and riffles. It is found where the stream is 0.5-3.0 m 
wide and averages 13 cm deep, over substrates of 
sand, gravel, and rubble associated with abundant 
Nasturtium sp., Ranunculus sp., and filamentous al- 
gae (M. Johnson, pers. comm.). 

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