Species At Risk

Lake Chubsucker

(Erimyzon sucetta)


Lake Chubsucker
Lake Chubsucker occurrences map


The Lake Chubsucker is a small member of the sucker family that reaches about 25 centimetres in length. It has a deep body with an arched back, a rounded snout, and a downward facing small sucker mouth. Its back is dark olive to greenish-bronze and the belly is green-yellow to yellow-white. There is sometimes a dark stripe along the side of the body that extends from the tail to the snout. This stripe is especially obvious in young fish.


In Canada, the Lake Chubsucker is found at several sites in the Ausable River, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and the Niagara river drainage in southern Ontario.


In Ontario, the Lake Chubsucker lives in marshes and lakes with clear, still, warmer water and plenty of aquatic plants. This habitat is found in bays, channels, ponds, and coastal wetlands. During the breeding season, from April to early June in Ontario, adults move into marshes where eggs are laid among vegetation in shallower water. The chubsucker eats algae, plankton, molluscs, and aquatic insects.


The main threat to the Lake Chubsucker is habitat destruction due to wetland drainage and too much sediment in the water. This species likes clean, clear water and does not do well in waters that are muddy or polluted. Water can become muddy due to soil washing in from nearby urban and agricultural areas.


The Lake Chubsucker is protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Lake Chubsucker

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Lake Chubsucker. 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).
  • Invasive species seriously threaten many of Ontario’s species at risk. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit: ontario.ca/invasivespecies; www.invadingspecies.com; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species at risk recovery. If you find Lake Chubsucker in a watercourse on or adjacent to your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • 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 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.

Did you know?

Female Lake Chubsuckers can lay up to 20,000 eggs each!

Did you know?

The scales on the upper half of the Lake Chubsucker are darkly outlined, which makes it look like the body of the fish has been crosshatched.

Did you know?

Researchers know very little about the life history or biology of this species. It can be very hard to find this secretive fish, which lives in areas of dense aquatic vegetation.

Did you know?

The presence of the Lake Chubsucker is a good indicator of healthy wetland habitats.

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.