Other Native Fish

Two gloved hands hold up a large fish
Suckers are one of 11 native species in Yellowstone. This sucker was caught in Pelican Creek.




Suckers are bottom-dwelling fish that use ridges on their jaws to scrape flora and fauna from rocks. They are eaten by birds, bears, otters, and large cutthroat trout. Sucker species can be distinguished by their habitat:

  • Mountain sucker (Catostomus platyrhynchus): cold, fast, rocky streams and some lakes.
  • Longnose sucker (C. catostomus): Yellowstone River drainage below the Grand Canyon; Yellowstone Lake and its surrounding waters (introduced). Equally at home in warm and cold waters, streams and lakes, clear and turbid waters.
  • Utah sucker (C. ardens): Snake River drainage.

Mottled Sculpin

The mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi) lives in shallow, cold water throughout Yellowstone except in the Yellowstone River above Lower Falls and in Yellowstone Lake. This species eats small insects and some fish, and is consumed by trout.



Yellowstone's minnows are small fish living in a variety of habitats and eating a variety of foods. All four species occurring in Yellowstone are eaten by trout:

  • Utah chub (Gila atraria): Largest of the minnows (12 inches); native to Snake River drainage;seems to prefer slow, warm waters with abundant aquatic vegetation.
  • Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae): Most often found behind rocks and in eddies of cold, clear waters of the Yellowstone and Snake river drainages, and can be found in Yellowstone Lake.
  • Redside shiner (Richardsonius balteatus): Minnow of lakes; native to the Snake River drainage;has been introduced to Yellowstone Lake, where it might compete with native trout because its diet is similar to that of young trout.
  • Speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus): Lives in the Snake River drainage.

Last updated: April 18, 2017

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