Color is variable, from light steel-gray to almost jet black in the spring. The fish is streamlined, with a pointed head and a subterminal mouth. The small head suggests in profile that of a horse. Early records indicate that this fish once reached weights of over 40 pounds (18 kg), although 15 pounds (6.8 kg) is quite rare today. Average lengths are 2 feet (0.61 m), the maximum being 0.93 metres (3 ft 1 in).
Huge migrations of these fast, powerful fish once migrated throughout the Mississippi River basin, and spring harvests of blue sucker were a staple food for early pioneers. Blue suckers are very rare today, thought to be due to the segmentation of habitat caused by the thousands of dams which have been built in the last century. Blues frequent the thalweg of large river systems, in heavy current.
- Gimenez Dixon (1996). Cycleptus elongatus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Cycleptus elongatus" in FishBase. November 2005 version.
- NatureServe - Cycleptus elongatus
- Fishes of Minnesota - Blue sucker
- roughfish.com - Blue sucker
- Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Blackhorse". Encyclopedia Americana.