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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
(1983)

Sucker family - catostomidae,   pp. 607-691 ff. PDF (39.5 MB)


Page 626

626    Sucker Family-Catostomidae 
Island Lake in the 1960s. It was mounted by Neal 
Long of Sayner and displayed at the Sportsmans Bar 
in Arcadia (Trempealeau County) in the 1970s. This 
fish probably derived from fish-rescue plantings 
from the Mississippi River, which were made during 
the 1930s. Cahn (1927) observed the smallmouth buf- 
falo from Lac La Belle (Waukesha County), and noted 
that it was more common in the Rock River. He also 
observed one specimen from the Fox River near Wau- 
kesha that weighed 5.9 kg (13 lb). The Waukesha 
County reports probably represent the last remnants 
of a disjunct population; specimens for verification of 
these reports are not available. H. E. Neuenschwan- 
der (pers. comm.) reported that the smallmouth buf- 
falo was taken from the Rock River between Hustis- 
ford and Watertown as late as 1965. 
  The smallmouth buffalo is uncommon to common 
in Wisconsin; in some large waters it is the dominant 
buffalo species. 
  The smallmouth buffalo is found in pools, oxbow 
lakes, and deeper waters of large rivers. It prefers 
                  Range of the smallmouth buffalo 
** Specimens examined 
                  A Wisconsin Fish Distribution Study (1974-75) 
                  0 Literature and reports 
                  0 Greene (1935) 
 clear, clean water. Occasionally young are taken from 
 the mouths of small streams tributary to large rivers. 
 BIOLOGY 
 At the latitude of Wisconsin spawning occurs from 
 April to early June at temperatures of 15.6-18.3°C 
 (60-65°F). The presence of smallmouth buffalo in 
 spawning condition in a small creek suggests that 
 they sometimes ascend small streams to spawn 
 (Coker 1930). Attempts to propagate buffaloes at the 
 fisheries biological station of Fairport, Iowa, have 
 been described by Coker (p. 192): 
 * . . natural propagation. . . met with no success until the 
 spring of 1917, when the conditions were varied by keep- 
 ing the pond about half full of water in the early part of the 
 season and allowing it to fill gradually early in May. A few 
 days after the production of this artificial flood stage the 
 splashing of buffalo fish was observed (May 11 and again 
 May 17, 18 and 19) in overflow regions along the margins 
 of the pond, and propagation was found to have been suc- 
cessful .... The rise should begin when the temperature 


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