Creek Chub

Creek Chub.

The Creek Chub is one of the largest chub and a member of the minnow, or Cyprinidae, family, making it a distant relative to carp. Occurring in great abundance in North America, it is important forage for sportfish, often competes with those larger predators for food, and, because it is hardy and lively, is also a prominent bait used by anglers.

The snout of the creek chub is pointed and its mouth large, with a single small barbel in the corner of each jaw, sometimes hidden between the maxillary and the premaxillary. The body is stout, colored olive brown on the back, silvery on the sides with shades of iridescent purple, and whitish on the underside.

A juvenile will have a blackish stripe along its back and a black caudal spot; an adult will also have the stripe on its back, but the black caudal spot will be faint or absent. There is a large black spot at the front of the dorsal fin. A breeding male takes on an orange hue, also gaining 4 to 8 large, thornlike tubercles (thus the name “horned dace”) on its opercles, body scales, and fins.

The creek chub may occasionally appear to be speckled with black sand, but this is the result of being heavily covered with the parasite that causes black spot disease (which is harmless to the fish and is not transmittable to humans) and not as a result of natural coloring.

Other characteristics include a complete lateral line with 47 to 65 scales, 8 anal fin rays, 8 dorsal fin rays, and a pharyngeal tooth count formula of 2-5-4-2 (2 teeth in minor rows and 4 or 5 teeth in major rows).

The creek chub can be distinguished from the pearl dace (Semotilus margarita, a.k.a. Margariscus margarita) by its larger mouth. The fallfish (Semotilus corporalis) is a strikingly similar fish to the creek chub, but with larger scales and larger eyes and without a black spot on the dorsal fin.

The creek chub can attain a maximum length of between 6 and 12 inches, depending on its environment; the average is 4 to 6 inches long. Adult males grow faster than females do, and the largest creek chub are usually male. They can live up to 7 years.

Spawning behavior:
Creek chub are pit-ridge spawners that build their gravel nests in runs and the downstream sections of pools. Nest building and spawning occur between March and June, in water temperatures ranging from 54° to 68°F. Creek chub have an interesting spawning ritual, which begins in the spring when the male digs a pit in the stream bottom by removing bits of gravel with his mouth.

He carefully guards the pit where the spawning occurs and attracts a female. Adult males are territorial during the breeding season and can be observed swimming in parallel, chasing each other, and ramming their tuberculate heads against each other. Some males attempt to spawn over the nests built by other males.

Spawning occurs when the male wraps his body around the female and eggs are released over the nest. A single female can produce more than 7,000 eggs, but only a portion of these are released during a single spawning event. Females are often observed floating belly up for a few seconds after spawning. They quickly recover and can spawn again.

Creek chub are omnivores that feed on a variety of foods, including zooplankton, aquatic and terrestrial insects, crayfish, mollusks, frogs, and fish. Adult creek chub have been shown to primarily consume fish, including the young of their own species.

Other Names:
horned dace, common chub, brook chub, mud chub.

Creek chub are found from the Maritime Provinces of Canada west to Montana and south to Texas and northern Georgia. Their distribution extends throughout the eastern half of southern Canada and the central and eastern United States. They occur in the Atlantic, Canadian, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi drainages.

These fish prefer cool, clear water in the gravel-bottomed pools and runs of creeks and streams. In dry weather and during low water, they can survive in isolated pools. They are seldom found in lakes.

Some ichthyologists refer to the creek chub as the “king of the headwaters” because it is often the largest fish found in very small streams. Deeper pools usually contain the largest individuals. Creek chub are tolerant of some pollution and can be abundant in urban streams.

Local Fishing Opportunities
logging the miles
Belwood Lake Conservation Area Gate BB
Conestogo Lake Conservation Area
Fly Fishing Lesson - 2 Person on the Credit River II Resized
Lake Eugenia
Ferry Lake Acton Arial
Upper Grand River at the Second Line
Guelph Lake Conservation Area Arial
Island Lake Conservation Area Orangeville Reservoir
Marden Park and Community Centre and Park Guelph Eramosa Township AA
Mountsberg Conservation Area
Puslinch Lake Little and Big
Robert Edmondson Conservation Area Sign AA
Rockwood Conservation Area
Shades Mills Conservation Area
Carp Speed River Confluence Eramosa Covered BridgeSV100516_01
Speed River Above the Hanlon Expressway
Valens Lake Conservation Area
Whiteman's Creek & Grand River Confluence
The Beaver River Thornbury River Mouth B
The Bighead River in Meaford Updtream from The Legion Hole Fall AA
The Bronte Creek or 12 Mile Creek Steelheading Upper Middle Road BBB
Credit River at Erindale Park above Dundas April 24th at 9am
Migratory - The Ganaraska River or The “Ganny” - Port Hope, Ontario
The Lower Grand River Below Caledonia Dam HH
The Nine Mile River Port Albert Ontario EEE
The Lower Maitland River
The Niagara River The Glenn BBBB
The Nottawaga River
The Sauble River at Sauble Falls BB
The Saugeen River at Denny's Dam at Summer levels.
Sixteen Mile Creek
Owen Sound Sydenham River AA
Migratory - Wilmot Creek - Clarington, Ontario
Float Centerpin Reel Bearings B Resized
HLS Custom UV Beads and HLS Bead Pegs AA
Custom HLS Acrylic Reel Seat Butt Cap and Islander Handle Conversion Replacement A
Custom IMX ST1562 cw Jungle Cock Inlays Resized for Web
Custom HLS Float Reel Rosewood Handles Slainless Palming Ring Red Front Resized for Web
Used But Not Abused Page Image
Weekly Guest Presenter Button
Custom Sage One - 7116B-4 - Baitcast with a twist Resized
Clearance Page Image
Warranty Button
Sage One Custom 7136B-6 Custom Float Rod Build with Red Zeppelin with Butt Wrap to match
A GLX Centerpin Rod - Strip & Rebuild Cork Handle with a Custom Reel Seat and Hook Keeper.
Swim Tank
Online Sales Button
Wedding Boutonniere Bombanieri - Resized
Vintage Spinning Reels Resized for Web
Cane Bamboo Rod Prior to Refinish AA
Simms Custom Breathable Wader options
2017 Simms Vibram Boot Fit Kit
Baitcast professional over-run A
HLS and TFC T Shirts A
Fly Line Welding Repair Machine Sage 6010 Fly Reel AAA

We are the leading provider of Fly Fishing Lessons, Corporate Team Building, and Guiding on the Upper Grand River, the Upper Credit River, and the Conestogo River.

No Guelph, Fergus, Kitchener or Cambridge Fishing Tackle Retailer will boast as complete and diverse a store inventory, including a vast selection of Centerpin / Float Fishing Reels, Rods, Clothing and Accessories.

Order a HLS or TFC Gift Card – We will put one in the mail for FREE!

Fly Shop Flyshop Flyfish Grand River Fly fish Grand River Guide Grand River Lesson Grand River Fergus Ontario Canada