Photo courtesy of Konrad Schmidt
Silver chub - Common name
Macrhybopsis storeriana - Scientific name
Family - Cyprinidae (minnows)
Status : S2, G5
IDENTIFICATION: The silver chub can reach a maximum length of ten inches (254 mm). It has a slender, fairly compressed body that is light olive on the back and bright silver-white on the sides. It has a large eye on the upper half of its head and a short, rounded snout. It has a barbel at the corner of its mouth.
SIMILAR SPECIES FOUND IN SOUTH DAKOTA: There are no species similar to the silver chub in South Dakota.
HABITS AND HABITAT: The silver chub is found in pools and backwaters of small to large rivers with silt, sand, or gravel substrates. Also found in lakes. The large eyes and mouth barbels of the silver chub are adaptations for finding food by either sight or smell in clear or turbid waters. The silver chub lives on or near the bottom of the river where it feeds on insects, plant seeds and small mollusks.
DISTRIBUTION: Distribution Map The distribution of the silver chub extends from North Dakota east to New York and Manitoba, Canada, south to Louisiana. In eastern South Dakota the silver chub has only been found in the Big Sioux River, below the Sioux Falls. The falls likely act as a barrier to the upstream migration of this fish. The silver chub has been documented in Lincoln and Union Counties.
CAUSES OF CONCERN AND CONSERVATION MEASURES: The silver chub is rare in South Dakota because it is along the furthest western edge of its distribution.