Post date: Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 11:14
Updated date: 2/6/17
Pealip Redhorse - Moxostoma pisolabrum


The Pealip Redhorse is a common redhorse species of the south-central United States, very similar to the Shorthead Redhorse. Although it was originally idenitfied as a species in 1951, it was not widely accepted as a valid species until 2004, instead being considered a subspecies of shorthead redhorse. Its main stronghold is in the Ozark Region.





The Pealip redhorse is almost identical to the Shorthead redhorse, although the mouth has a pea-shaped bump on the forward lip that is highly distinctive. It has silver or brassy scales, all reddish fins, and a short head and small mouth opening.



The Pealip redhorse lives in large to medium-sized rivers; like the closely-related shorthead, it usually frequents faster current than some of the gray-finned species. Clear, sediment-free water and abundant insect life is essential to providing good habitat for this species. It spawns on gravel riffles in the spring.


According to the US Geological Survey, the Pealip Redhorse occurs from Western Iowa, through most of Missouri and eastern Nebraska, to northern Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. It is also could possibly be found in extreme southwest Minnesota, right along the Iowa border near Worthington. It survives in a few scattered areas of Nebraska. Essentially, the shorthead redhorse and its two sister species (pealip and smallmouth) comprise the small-headed, red-tailed redhorse species from three areas: the mainstem Mississippi drainage (Shorthead), the Missouri River drainage (Pealip), and the Ohio River drainage (Smallmouth). Of course, if you go even farther up the Missouri, you once again run into what the USGS calls "Shorthead Redhorse" in the upper Missouri and Yellowstone, which is a little strange. I would be curious to look closely at the redhorse from the Missouri River in South Dakota.






The Pealip redhorse is a quick-water benthic invertivore, feeding among rocks and cobble by sucking its prey from the cracks and crannies. Bottom-fishing with nightcrawler is probably your best bet, although small aquatic insects or crustaceans would be a good choice as well. Stationary presentations will out-fish moving ones, although many of the redhorse will occasionally chase after a drifting fly.



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