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Streamline Chub

Streamline Chub
Erimystax dissimilis

New York Status: Special Concern


streamline chub image

The streamline chub is a small slender fish that reaches 4-5 inches in length. Its back is olive-yellow with a white to gold spot at the front and back of the dorsal fin. The sides are silvery with several large dark mid-lateral blotches. Its belly is silvery to white. The snout extends beyond the upper lip and a barbel is present.

Life History

The streamline chub spawns in the spring during May and June. It feeds while in a compact aggregation with others and while roving. Foods include benthic insect larvae and plant materials.

Distribution and Habitat

Disjunct populations occur in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The only waters in New York known to contain this small fish are the Allegheny River and tributaries like Kinzua, Olean, Ischua, Oil, Fivemile and Tunungwant creeks.

The streamline chub lives in riffles and over bars in moderate-sized streams with clean course gravel. It is also found in moderate and slow runs and in well-flowing portions of pools. In one study the chub disappeared from one area after a riffle became silted.

Population Status

The current population status is unknown. The species has always been restricted to the Allegheny River basin and is no longer found downstream of Salamanca in Allegheny Reservoir. The Allegheny River has been impounded by the Kinzua Dam, which eliminated habitat and isolated the population of the streamline chub in New York. This could have a negative affect on the population since immigration of specimens from farther downstream is prevented.

Management/Research Needs

Management of the species is primarily a product of habitat protection. Water quality in the New York section of the upper Allegheny appears to be good, but had earlier been degraded because of industrial and domestic pollution and agricultural runoff.

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