lake chub

Lake Chub (Couesius plumbeus)

The lake chub is a northern, periglacial species that lives in a broad band across Canada and northern United States from Nova Scotia and Labrador to British Columbia and central Alaska. It lives in northern New England, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin to Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. In New York, it is widely distributed in the Adirondacks and along the south shore of Lake Ontario with scattered records in the Mohawk, Hudson, and Oswego drainages. There is an isolated population in the East Branch of the Delaware near Margaretville.

This species lives in streams and lakes and ponds, apparently moving into deeper water during the summer.

The lake chub is an early spawner, moving into streams in April in the southern part of its range. The lake chub spawns at about the same time as the smelt or even earlier.

Zooplankton, aquatic insects, algae and small fishes are the chief food items.


Distribution of lake chub in NY state.

A 144 KB image of the lake chub is also available for download.

The above species description was taken out of "The Inland Fishes of New York State" by C. Lavett Smith, published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1985.

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