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lake chub

lake chub (Couesius plumbeus) Photo © Konrad P. Schmidt, University of Minnesota

Features and Behaviors


The lake chub may attain a length of about eight to nine inches. It is green or brown on the back and upper sides and silver on the lower sides. There is a dark stripe on each side and a dark spot on the tail. A barbel is present on each side of the head near the spot where the upper and lower jaws meet. The large eye is about the same length as the snout. The front edge of the dorsal fin is behind the front edge of the pectoral fin. A groove separates the snout from the upper lip. Teeth are present in the throat. The breeding male has red in the area of the pectoral fins.


The lake chub may be found in Lake Michigan. It lives in cold, deep water and along the shore. Spawning occurs in April and May. The female deposits thousands of eggs over the lake bottom. The lake chub eats algae, small invertebrates and small fishes. The life span of this fish is about six to seven years.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia​
Phylum: Chordata​
Class: Actinopterygii​
Order: Cypriniformes​
Family: Leuciscidae

Illinois Status: common, native