Iowa Fish Atlas

Gravel chub-Erimystax x-punctatus

Native: Yes

State Rank: S3

ITIS Code: 163824          

National Rank: N4           

Global Rank: G4

Modeled By: Anna Loan-Wilsey

State Range:

The gravel chub is limited to the large interior rivers of central and northeast Iowa (Harlan et al. 1987).   It is found almost exclusively in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Aquatic Subregion including collections taken from the Shellrock, Cedar, Upper Iowa, Wapsipinicon, Volga and Turkey rivers.  However, populations of gravel chub have also been found in the Des Moines River in the Central Plains Aquatic Subregion.  This once threatened fish species is more abundant and widely distributed in Iowa than previously known (Harlan et al. 1987).

Habitat Affinities:

The gravel chub inhabits large, deep riffles and raceways of moderate- or large-sized streams with swift current and substrates of sand and pea-sized gravel without clayey silt (Eddy and Underhill 1974; Harlan et al. 1987; Robison and Buchanan 1988; Trautman 1981). If siltation is rapid, the gravel chub may be found in shallower waters with stronger current as long as its preferred substrate exists (Trautman 1981).  However, increased erosion and siltation from intensive agricultural practices has caused a drastic decline of the gravel chub in parts of its range (Becker 1983; Eddy and Underhill 1974; Phillips et al. 1982; Smith 1979).  In the Ozarks of Missouri, the gravel chub is locally abundant in the downstream areas of large streams with lower gradients and warmer water (Pflieger 1997; Robison and Buchanan 1988). It is tolerant of moderate turbidity (Pflieger 1997) and avoids rooted aquatic plants and larger varieties of algae and aquatic mosses (Trautman 1981).

Predictive Model(s):

Statewide Model: by 8-digit HU [Decision Tree Analysis n=29]

The distribution is based upon existing collection records and professional review.


  ((("LINKR" > 3 AND "LINKR" <= 5) AND "SOIL_TEXT" <= 4) OR

    ("LINKR" > 5 AND "LINKR" <= 7))

Overall Prediction:

"FLOW" = 1 AND "SDISCR_2C" = 0 AND "TEMP_CODE" = 2 AND ((("LINKR" > 3 AND "LINKR" <= 5) AND "SOIL_TEXT" <= 4) OR ("LINKR" > 5 AND "LINKR" <= 7))

Literature Cited:

Becker, G.C.  1983.  Fishes of Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1052 pp.

Eddy, S., and J.C. Underhill.  1974.  Northern fishes; with special reference to the upper Mississippi Valley.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  414 pp.

Harlan, J.R., E.B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew.  1987.  Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323pp.

Pflieger, W.L.  1997.  The fishes of Missouri.  Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.  372 pp.

Phillips, G.L., W.D. Schmid, and J.C. Underhill.  1982.  Fishes of the Minnesota region.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  248 pp.

Robison, H.W., and T.M. Buchanan. 1988.  Fishes of Arkansas.  University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Arkansas.  536 pp.

Smith, P.W.  1979.  The fishes of Illinois.  University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois.  314 pp.

Trautman, M.B.  1981.  The fishes of Ohio.  Revised Edition.  Ohio State University Press in collaboration with the Ohio Sea Grant Program Center for Lake Erie Area Research,  Columbus, Ohio.  782 pp.

Data Sources:

Dowell, V.  1981.  Collections in Cedar River Basin, 1956-1981.  University of Northern

Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Eckblad, J.W.  1979.  A natural resource inventory of the aquatic habitats of the Volga

River recreation area with pre-impoundment predictions for the new lake.  Contract 8152. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa.

Gelwicks, G., J. Heitke, and G. Simmons.  2002.  Contemporary fish survey.  Iowa

Department of Natural Resources, Manchester, Iowa.

Iowa State University Museum.  1985.  Collection of fishes catalog, 1878-1985.   Iowa

State University, Ames, Iowa.

Jones, D.T.  1928.  Fish collected in the vicinity of Vinton, Iowa.  Proceedings of the

Iowa Academy of Sciences 35:327-331.

Manchester Fish Management.  2002.  Field notes and unpublished reports.  Northeast

Management District, Fisheries Bureau, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Manchester, Iowa.

Meek, S.E.  1892.  Report upon the fishes of Iowa, based upon observations and

collections mad during 1889, 1890, 1891.  Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 10(1890):217-248.

Menzel, B.W.  1984.  Field notes: Iowa-Cedar.  Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Museum of Natural History.  2002.  Freshwater fish collection.  Division of Zoology,

University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, Louisiana.

Olson, J.R.  1998.  Historic fish survey database.  Water Quality Bureau, Iowa

Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa.

Paragamian, V.L.  1990.  Fish populations of Iowa rivers and streams.  Technical Bulletin

No. 3.  Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa.

Schmadeke, D.P. 1977.  An annotated list of fishes of the Shellrock River, Iowa. 

Master's thesis.  University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Schmidt, K.  1999.  Upper Iowa River 1998-1999 fish survey: database overview

summary.  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Wilton, T., K. Krier, and J. Mootz.  2003.  Stream Biological Assessment Database.

Environmental Services Division, Water Quality Bureau, TMDL and Water Quality Assessment Section, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa.

Additional References:

Burr, B. M., and M.L. Warren, Jr.  1986.  A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes.  Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series No. 4., Frankfort, Kentucky.  398 pp.

Clay, W.M.  1975.  The fishes of Kentucky.  Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Frankfort, Kentucky.  416 pp.

Coburn, M.M., and T.M. Cavender.  1992.  Interrelationships of North American cyprinid fishes.  Pages 328-373 in R. L. Mayden, editor.  Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calfiornia. xxvi + 969 pp.

Cooper, E.L.  1983.  Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States.  Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, Pennsylvania. 243 pp.

Cross, F.B.  1967.  Handbook of fishes of Kansas.  University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Miscellaneous Publication  No. 45, Lawrence, Kansas.  357 pp.

Cross, F.B., and J.T. Collins.  1995.  Fishes in Kansas.  University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Public Education Series No. 14, Lawrence, Kansas.   315 pp.

Douglas, N.H.  1974.  Freshwater fishes of Louisiana.  Claitor’s Publishing Division, Sponsored by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  443 pp.

Etnier, D.A., and W.E. Starnes.  1993.  The fishes of Tennessee.  University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee.  681 pp.

Kelly, G., editor.  1986.  Animal habitat relations handbook.  Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Jefferson City, Missouri.  293 pp.

Lee, D.S., C.R. Gilbert, C.H. Hocutt, R.E. Jenkins, D.E. McAllister, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr.  1980.  Atlas of North American freshwater fishes.  North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina.  867 pp.

Mayden, R.L. 1989.  Phylogenetic studies of North American minnows, with emphasis on the genus Cyprinella (Teleostei: Cypriniformes).  University of Kansas Museum Natural History Miscellaneous Publication (80):1-189.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr.  1991.  A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

Pflieger, W.L.  1971.  A distributional study of Missouri fishes.  University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History  20(3):225-570.

Pflieger, W.L.  1989a.  Aquatic community classification system for Missouri.  Missouri Department of Conservation.  Jefferson City, Missouri.  Aquatic Series No. 19. 70 pp. plus Supplement.

Pflieger, W.L.  1989b.  The stream resources of Missouri.  D-J Project - F-1-R-28.  Study S-20.  Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia, Missouri.  

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott.  1991.  Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada.  American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20, Bethesda, Maryland. 183 pp.

Smith, C.L.  1985.  The inland fishes of New York state.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, New York.  522 pp.

Thom, R.H., and J.H. Wilson.  1980.  The natural divisions of Missouri.  Transactions of the Missouri Academy of Science  14:9-24.

Warren, M.L. Jr., B.M. Burr, S.J. Walsh, H.L. Bart Jr., R.C. Cashner, D.A. Etnier, B.J. Freeman, B.R. Kuhajda, R.L. Mayden, H.W. Robison, S.T. Ross, and W.C. Starnes.  2000.  Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States.  Fisheries 25(10): 7-31.

Photo Credits:

Upper Left:       Photo courtesy of Konrad P. Schmidt, copyright Konrad P. Schmidt.

Upper Right:     Photo courtesy of Konrad P. Schmidt, copyright Konrad P. Schmidt.