Poppin' a Chubby in the Driftless
While out and about on some random creek in the driftless area of Wisconsin this week I got to encounter a new species. We were supposed to be catching those little trout that so many anglers invest small fortunes in. Instead we got into a number of Hornyhead Chubs. I've been introduced to various chub variants in the past though mostly as BAIT. Nobody ever told me that chubs were so much fun to catch. They were aggressive and put up a great fight for their size. The colors on this particular species (Nocomis biguttatus) were just gorgeous. My angling companion didn't seem nearly as excited to catch these awesome little locals as I was. So I figured I'd leave some interesting facts here to help educate my fellow anglers.
- Male hornyhead chubs exhibit small horns or tubercles during the breeding season.
- Although commonly found in coldwater streams, chub species are able to survive in a wide variety of water temps.
- Average size of hornyhead chubs is 4-7 inches. However fish over 9 inches in total length have been reported.
- In many creeks and streams the chub is the top predator in the system.
- There are 48 different species of chub in the USA.
- Due to habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive species in coldwater streams, chubs have being placed on the endangered species list in states such as Kansas and Colorado.
All in all it's a pretty cool little fish. As I said earlier this is a fun species to catch and just as beautiful under the right circumstances as any trout species. So the next time you hook into one of these little guys on your favorite driftless stream show some respect. Because on many bodies of water, they were here first.