The Colorado pikeminnow

The Colorado pikeminnow



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The Colorado Pikeminnow belongs to the Cyprinidae family. The average length of the Colorado pikeminnow is 52.5 cm. The longest Colorado pikeminnow reported is 180 cm. The maximum age recorded for Colorado pikeminnow is 12 years. They spawn from late spring to mid-summer. Fishing is extremely restricted and prohibited because the Colorado Pikeminnow is an endangered species.
Like the other three species of pikeminnows, its extended body resembles that of pike. The cone-shaped, slightly flattened head is elongated and forms nearly a quarter of the length of the body. Color levels range from bright olive green on the back to a lighter yellowish shade on the sides, through white. Young fish have a dark mark on the caudal fin. The dorsal and anal fins generally have 9 rays. Pharyngeal teeth are long and hooked.

The Colorado Pikeminnow lifestyle

Young pikeminnows, reaching 5 cm in length, feeds on cladocerans, copepods and chironomid larvae, then switch to insects when it reaches about 10 cm long, gradually eating more fish as they mature. Once they reach a length of about 30 cm, they eat mainly fish.
The Colorado pikeminnows are potamodromous, which facilitates freshwater spawning migrations to their native regions. These migrations can begin with upstream or downstream movements, depending on the location of individuals' home ranges, and can reach 100 km or more. Spawning occurs around the summer solstice, with declining flows and rising temperatures. Breeding males are bronze in color and covered with tubers, while females are generally larger, lighter in color and have fewer tubers. When fish reach the spawning ground, they move into deeper pools and eddies and spawn in nearby corridors and deep rapids, where the glued eggs are released. During hatching and upwelling, the small fry is dragged and transported between 50 and 100 km downstream.

The Colorado Pikeminnow habitat

Colorado pikeminnow lives in muddy and fast rivers with calm and warm backwaters.
In the United States, Colorado pikeminnow can be found in the watersheds of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. But now, due to the construction of large dams in the rivers of the Colorado Basin, Colorado pikeminnow is now mainly limited to Utah and Colorado. Currently, two wild populations of Colorado pikeminnow inhabit in the upper Colorado River basin. The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program continues to store Colorado pikeminnow in order to build a new, self-reliant and self-sufficient population.

The Colorado Pikeminnow angling

This species is endangered. So the angling is prohibited. If you still want to catch Colorado Pikeminnow, make sure to ask to the competent authorities before.

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