It was a pretty nice day, so I decided to explore this Ohio creek, because that’s what I do on days like today.
Although it is well camouflaged, I saw this fish in the shallow water – a Northern Hog Sucker. It has a large head and long, slender body.
This fish is known for its sucker mouth on the underside of its head. It almost looks a bit like a cartoon character.
Unlike the majority of other species of suckers in Ohio which are primarily pool oriented, the hog sucker has adaptations for life in fast currents. The Northern Hog Sucker has a very streamlined head and body that deflects the flow of water upward, pushing their body down. This allows them to sit effortlessly on a stream bottom with fast flowing riffles.
Hog suckers require streams with clean gravels and cobbles where they feed on the aquatic insect larva which live there. The rocky streambed also allows the fish to blend in because of their color and pattern.
I enjoyed finally meeting one if these fine fish “up close and in person,” but soon it was time to release it.