Moxostoma Erythrurum




1 - 5 pounds

12" - 31"

Golden Redhorse Game Fish Quality Very Good
Golden Redhorse Meal Quality Decent

Golden Redhorse

Golden Redhorse
Also Known As: Golden Sucker, Yellow Sucker

Golden Redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum) Fish Description

Also known as Golden Sucker or Yellow Sucker, the Golden Redhorse is a small member of the sucker family. Some of its relatives are the loaches, carps, and minnows. 

The Golden Redhorse has white and stout bellies, olive-colored backs, and gray tail fins. Their V-shaped mouth is located in the inferior part of their head. Their caudal fin is notched, whereas their dorsal fin is somewhat concave. They have only one anal fin. Their tail fin is pale yellow. Their sides are brassy golden whereas their fins or orange or pinkish. The air bladder of the Golden Redhorse has three chambers.


Diet and Size

The Golden Redhorse, a bottom-feeder species of fish, likes to feast on small mollusks, detritus, algae, aquatic insects, and microcrustaceans. They suck up food from the stream bed using their protrusible mouth.

The Golden Redhorse, on average, can measure around 12 to 18 inches. They weigh about 1 to 2 pounds only. However, some Golden Redhorse can grow as long as 26 inches and set the scale at 4 to 5 pounds. It is estimated that they can live for 8 to 11 years.


Interesting Facts About the Golden Redhorse 

  • The Golden Redhorse got their name from the golden scales adorning their sides.
  • The Golden Redhorse’s body is fusiform-shaped. This allows them to swim against the currents especially when chasing their prey.
  • With their lateral line system composed of 39 to 42 scales, the Golden Redhorse can detect vibrations and movements in the waters around them.
  • Unlike other redhorse species, the Golden Redhorse is not very sensitive to unfavorable habitat conditions.
  • Female Golden Redhorse lay their eggs on the gravel bottom because their newly-spawned young like to hide beneath stones after hatching from their adhesive eggs.
  • Golden Redhorse mothers abandon their juvenile babies and provide them no maternal care.
  • Moxostoma means ‘mouth to suck’; erythrurum means ‘red-tailed’.


Golden Redhorse — Fishing Techniques

Anglers generally do not like to capture Golden Redhorse but they often catch them by accident when fishing for catfish. The best time to catch this species is during early spring when the waters reach around 42 °F. Anglers can use worms as bait and fish them several inches off the bottom of the stream. Hook and line remain the best method for catching them.

Gigging is also an effective method. Gigging is practiced by using a multi-headed spear at night; the fisherman would usually mount a source of light on the front part of the boat to lure them.

The Golden Redhorse can be pickled or smoked.


Habitat and Distribution

Golden Redhorse thrives in streams, large rivers, and lakes. They like sandy or silty, calm waters. In general, they love to swim in freshwater habitats with varied substrates.

The Golden Redhorse are endemic to Manitoba and Ontario in Canada, as well as the southern, eastern, and midwestern part of the US. In particular, the Golden Redhorse population is abundant in the drainage basins of the lower Missouri River, Ohio River, and the Mississippi River. They can also be sighted in the Great Lakes (except Lake Superior), as well as the Mobile Bay drainage basin in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.

This species spawns in spring where the waters are at 63 °F to 72 °F.