Fish surveys throughout the Wateree River in 2004–2005 documented the presence of 8 catostomid species—Carpiodes sp. cf. Cyprinus (quillback), Erimyzon oblongus (creek chubsucker), Ictiobus bubalus (smallmouth buffalo), Minytrema melanops (spotted sucker), Moxostoma collapsum (notchlip redhorse), M. macrolepidotum (shorthead redhorse), Scartomyzon rupiscartes (striped jumprock), and Scartomyzon sp. undescribed species (brassy jumprock)—but failed to document C. sp. cf. velifer (highfin carpsucker), Moxostoma sp. cf. Erythrurum (Carolina redhorse), or M. robustum (robust redhorse). Four native (quillback, spotted sucker, notchlip redhorse, and shorthead redhorse) and the nonnative small-mouth buffalo were collected in sufficient numbers to allow observations of unique aggregations. Based on time of year, expression of milt, presence of tubercles, and published thermal preferenda during spawning, we believe these aggregations were associated with spawning, although direct observations of spawning behavior were not made. Spotted suckers used Piedmont and transitional-zone habitats early in the year and also aggregated in larger numbers in the mouths of blackwater Coastal Plain tributaries. Low catches of spotted sucker in riffle habitat in the Wateree River at temperatures exceeding 14 °C appears anomalous and merits further investigation. All other suckers were collected predominantly in areas of gravel, cobble, and bedrock in the Piedmont and transitional zone; aggregations of quillback, shorthead redhorse, and then notchlip redhorse successively followed high spotted sucker catches. The nonnative smallmouth buffalo appeared to use these same habitats during the entire time when quillback, shorthead redhorse, and notchlip redhorse were present, although smallmouth buffalo were collected at low catch rates. The elevated temperatures at which notchlip redhorse aggregated appeared anomalous and merits further investigation.
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