Golden redhorse

Golden redhorse

Characteristics

light-yellow to bronze colored, scales on back and sides are without dark spots on the base

Distribution

Golden redhorse Distribution

common in most small to moderate-sized streams in Iowa, uncommon in the upper reaches of the Mississippi and rare in the more turbid water of the lower Mississippi and Missouri rivers

Foods

aquatic insect larvae and small mollusks

State Record

Expert Tip

Details

The golden redhorse is common in most small to moderate-sized streams in Iowa. It is uncommon in the upper reaches of the Mississippi and rare in the more turbid waters of the lower Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The species prefers deep pool habitat along the outside channel bends that have slow to moderate current with clean sand or gravel bottoms. This species is extremely sensitive to toxicants and is intolerant of excessive turbidity.

The golden redhorse is a slightly chubby, coarse-scaled sucker colored light-yellow to bronze. The scales on the back and sides are without dark spots on the base. It can be separated from the silver redhorse by the outer margin of the dorsal fin, which is slightly curved inward and has 12 to 13 (rarely 14) rays. The ridges on the lips are continuous and not broken by transverse creases into small papillae. The lateral line is complete and has 39 to 42 scales. The tail fin is slate or pale yellow colored, and the air bladder has three chambers.

Golden redhorse ascends small streams in late April or May to spawn when water temperature ranges form 60 to 72 degrees F. They are gregarious spawners, broadcasting the semi-adhesive eggs over gravel or rubble substrates in the shallow riffles. Eggs are left unattended to hatch. The age of maturity is variable with some males maturing in the third year and females one year older. Fecundity of an 18-inch female is around 21,000 eggs. Growth of golden redhorse in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River is 2.2 inches in the first year, 15.6 inches at the fifth year and 19.3 inches at 8 years of age. Food of the golden redhorse is almost exclusively aquatic insect larvae and small mollusks.


Return
Present in these Iowa water bodies:
Lake/Stream County Location Acres/Length
West Fork Cedar River Black Hawk Best access locations are west of Highway 14 below the Big Marsh Wildlife Area in Butler County. 68.00
Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux) Harrison Chris Larsen Park: 1280 Larsen Park Road/Sioux City, IA. Located on the Sioux City riverfront along the Missouri River. Larsen Park offers 110 acres on the Sioux City Riverfront. Managed by the City of Sioux City. 64.00
Missouri River (Council Bluffs to state line) Fremont Lake Manawa State Park: 1100 South Shore Drive/Council Bluffs, IA 51501 phone: 712-366-0220. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Lake Manawa State Park has boat ramps on the Missouri River within the park. 61.00
Cedar River (La Porte City to Cedar Rapids) Linn This stretch is located in Benton and Linn County. 56.00
Cedar River (Cedar Rapids to Moscow) Cedar This stretch is found in Linn and Cedar County. 55.00
Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs) Pottawattamie Wilson Island State Recreation Area: 32801 Campground Lane/Missouri Valley, IA 51555 phone-712-642-2069. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wilson Island Recreation Area has 544 acres along the Missouri River near Missouri Valley Iowa. 53.00
Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock) Marion A mid-section access point for this stretch of river is at the Pleasant Hill Boat Ramp. This ramp is located on SE Vandalia Drive immediately east of Highway 65. 50.00
Yellow River Allamakee T96N, R6W, S3 to T96N, R4W, S24 25.00
Trout Run Winneshiek Located on the south side of Decorah off Trout Run Road. 2.20
Bear Creek Fayette Located 6 miles southeast of Fayette off of Kornhill Road or CR C24. Access from 128th Street. 1.20
Spring Creek Mitchell Located on the west edge of Orchard. 0.80