Species At Risk

Gravel Chub

(Erimystax x-punctata)
Extirpated (no longer found in Ontario)
Gravel Chub
Gravel Chub occurrences map


The Gravel Chub is a small, slender minnow reaching a maximum of 11 centimetres in length. The body color is olive green or brown on top and silvery- white on the belly, with distinctive X- and Y-shaped markings along the side. It has large eyes positioned toward the top of the head and its snout overhangs the mouth, with small fleshy "whiskers" or barbels at the corner of its mouth.

Current Range

The range of the Gravel Chub is widespread across central United States, but patchily distributed, extending from south-central Arkansas north to southern Minnesota and east to western New York.

Historical Range in Ontario

In Canada, the historical range for this species was a single watershed in southwestern Ontario, where it was found at two locations in the Thames River. However, it has not been recorded here since 1958, and there is no current evidence of reproducing populations anywhere in Canada.

Why It Disappeared from Ontario

The Gravel Chub was likely never common in Ontario, but its decline and extirpation here was likely due to siltation and sedimentation of the Thames River from farmland runoff. The Gravel Chub is declining throughout its North American range, largely due to habitat degradation and its sensitivity to siltation.


The Gravel Chub, as its name suggests, has specific habitat requirements of clear, flowing waters with gravely bottoms, and enough current to keep the bottom silt-free.


Help Make Sure We Don’t Lose More Endangered Species in Ontario

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Gravel Chub. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca.
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have an important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats. For more information visit: ontario.ca/speciesatrisk.
  • Farmers and land owners can help improve fish habitat and keep Ontario’s water safe and clean by maintaining natural vegetation next to creeks and rivers, and keeping pollution and soil from washing into Ontario’s streams and rivers. You can find more information about programs and funding assistance for eligible farmers from the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association website at www.ontariosoilcrop.org/en/programs/species_at_risk.htm.
  • Volunteer with a local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Did you know?

The bottom-feeding Gravel Chub uses sensitive barbels, or whiskers, at the corners of its mouth to find its prey of small insects and larvae by probing under rocks and in crevices.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.