Post date: Friday, August 30, 2013 - 12:26
Updated date: 4/9/20
Desert Sucker Closeup Picture


The Desert Sucker is a small, torpedo-shaped bottom feeder with an underslung mouth and a squarish head.  It is common in some of the large, turbid rivers of the southwest - chiefly the Virgin, White, Colorado, Gila, and Bill Williams rivers.  A small fish, it rarely exceeds a foot long but tops out around 16 inches  It can be caught on small earthworms or pieces of nightcrawler, fished on the bottom in moderate current.


Other Names: Gila Mountain Sucker


Subspecies: The White River Mountain Sucker (a.k.a. White River Desert Sucker), the Virgin River Desert Sucker, and the Meadow Valley Wash Desert Sucker all all subspecies of the desert sucker.





The Desert Sucker (top) is often found in the same waters as the Sonoran Sucker (bottom). Sonorans have a more contrasting, hard-edged color pattern. Desert suckers also have a wider mouth with the upper lip being a cartilagenous scraper.  The Sonora sucker has a plump, fleshy lip.

Range Map

Photo Credits:

EmotionalSpock, Arizona Dept. of Fish and Game, Angela Palacios/USFWS

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Post date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 12:13
Lower salt river.