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Flathead Chub

Photo by Garold Sneegas

Flathead Chub

Platygobio gracilis

Federal Status: None

State Status: Threatened


Dark Blue = Designated critical habitat
Light Blue = Historical records


Comments: The decline of the flathead chub in the Missouri River is well documented. In the 1940s, it made up 31 percent of the seine catch. By the 1980s it dropped to just over one percent, and is now thought to be on the verge of extirpation from the Missouri River. Upstream reservoirs and changes in river hydrology altered peak flows and turbidity to the detriment of the flathead chub. As this population declined, the population of a sightfeeding minnow, the emerald shiner, increased in numbers. The flathead chub relies more on external taste buds than eyesight to find its food. Terrestrial insects make up the majority of its diet. This chub can reach a foot in length and has a distinctly flattened snout and two short, fleshy barbels at the corners of its mouth. Its lifespan is 3-4 years.