Smallmouth buffalo

Ictiobus bubalus

Family Catostomidae - suckers

Body elongate, deep; color golden greenish or blue, lighter on sides, belly yellowish white; lips thick, mouth subterminal, slightly oblique, upper jaw shorter than snout, upper lip below eye level, no barbels on corners of mouth; has a predorsal keel (low rounded ridge in front of dorsal fin origin); dorsal fin long, 1st 6-7 anterior rays elongate; pelvic fins inserted behind pectoral fins mid-body; anterior rays of anal fin elongate; eye near tip of snout; snout short, blunt; head gradually more slender than body; fins dusky.
Similar Species
Similar to the carp but doesn't have barbels on the corner of its mouth as the carp do. The bigmouth buffalo has an largely oblique terminal mouth; the smallmouth buffalo has a slightly oblique subterminal mouth.
Freshwater, rivers, reservoirs, lakes, prefers waters with moderate current; enters low salinity bays
Maximum Size
112 cm (3 1/2 ft), common to 58.5 cm (23 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. 22-30; A. 9-10 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
State size/bag limits