Age and Growth of June Sucker (Chasmistes liorus) from Otoliths


June sucker, Chasmistes liorus, age, growth, life history, otoliths, Utah Lake


June sucker, Chasmistes liorus, is endemic to Utah Lake, Utah County, Utah (Miller and Smith 1981). This species is federally listed as endangered, and the wild population may number <500 individuals (based on mark-recapture estimates, C. Keleher, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, personal communication). The remaining C. liorus population appears to suffer from lack of recruitment to the adult population, apparently in part due to predation on juveniles by an abundant population of introduced white bass (Morone chrysops; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1995). Present recovery efforts include artificial propagation. Adult C. liorus are captured as they proceed up the Provo River to spawn, gametes are stripped and combined, and offspring are raised in captivity until they reach a size large enough to avoid predation by white bass. These juveniles then are returned to Utah Lake, except for those retained as brood stock. To effectively evaluate survival of captive-reared individuals and to estimate age at recruitment to the breeding population, one must understand natural patterns of C. liorus growth in Utah Lake. Although adult size is well documented, no data are available on C. liorus growth patterns. In this paper I report growth pattern, size at age, and age at death of individuals estimated from presumptive annuli on otoliths (lapili) from 10 C. liorus from the wild population. This study provides previously unavailable data on age and growth to serve as a baseline for comparing C. liorus growth patterns.

Original Publication Citation

Mark C. Belk. 1998. Age and growth of June sucker (Chasmistes liorus) from otolith annuli. Great Basin Naturalist, 58: 390-392.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The Great Basin Naturalist




Life Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor