Studies of age, growth, and maturity were based on 1760 fish collected in western Lake Superior in 1964-65. The body:scale relation was curvilinear and the curve had an intercept of 1.65 inches on the length axis. The weight increased as the 2.85 power of the length. Some fish formed an annulus before May 18 in 1965; all had completed annuli by late September. Longnose suckers grew 3.6 inches the 1st year, reached 12 inches in the 6th year, and 18 inches in the 11th year. Fish from Pikes Bay grew faster than those from Gull Island Shoal. Over 6 years were required for weight to reach 1 lb and nearly 10 years to reach 2 lb. Minimum length at maturity was 10.5 inches for males and 11.5 inches for females. The youngest mature male belonged to age-group IV and the youngest mature female to age-group V. All males were mature at 14.5-14.9 inches (age-group VIII) and all females at 15.0-15.4 inches (age-group IX). Finclipped longnose suckers returned to spawn in the Brule River in successive years. One fish returned to spawn in 4 successive years. Many of the fish were not recaptured until 2 or 3 years after marking. The time of the Brule River spawning migration depended more on water temperature than on length of day. The average water temperature during the peak of the spawning runs of 1958-64 was 55.4 F. Larval suckers apparently spend little time in the Brule River and adjacent streams and drift downstream to the lake soon after hatching. The number of eggs in the ovaries of eight suckers ranged from 14 to 35 thousand and averaged 24 thousand for fish 13.9-17.7 inches long.
Additional publication details
Age, growth, and maturity of the longnose sucker Catostomus catostomus, of western Lake Superior