June sucker

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June sucker
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Catostomidae
Genus: Chasmistes
Species: C. liorus
Binomial name
Chasmistes liorus
D. S. Jordan, 1878

The June sucker (Chasmistes liorus) is an endangered species of fish endemic to Utah Lake and the Provo River, where it is now under protection. It is a member of the sucker family Catostomidae, and occurs in sympatry with the benthic Utah sucker Catostomus ardens.

Unlike most other suckers, the June sucker is not a bottom-feeder. Its mouth is more rostrally-oriented, allowing it to collect zooplankton from the mid-water. The fish is dark gray or brownish dorsally, with a white or slightly greenish belly. It has a life span of over 40 years. Typical specimens range from 17 to 24 inches and reach a weight of 5 lbs.

This species was once plentiful in its native lake. Some contributions to its decline include predation on its young by introduced species such as the common carp and walleye, pollution and turbidity, drought, alteration of water flow, and loss of some native vegetation.

Biologists have been rearing the June sucker in Red Butte Reservoir, and more recently in the Springville, Utah fish hatchery which had been closed due to an outbreak of whirling disease. As whirling disease does not affect June sucker, the hatchery was reopened to house the June sucker. After the June sucker grow to a certain size, they are released into Utah Lake to help build the population.

The June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program coordinates and implements recovery actions for the June sucker.


  1. ^ NatureServe (2011). "Chasmistes liorus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved March 6, 2015.