University of California
California Fish Website

Fish Species

 Common Name Blue Chub
 Scientific Name Gila coerulea
 Native Yes
  • Slender, pointed minnow, rarely exceed 38 cm SL
  • Large eyes, terminal mouth, maxillas extend to front margin of eye
  • Coloration: silvery sides, dark back
  • Breeding males have blue snout, orange sides and fins
  • Fin rays: dorsal 9, anal 8-9, pectoral 14-17
  • Lateral line scales: 58-71, decurved, small scales
 Life History Blue Chubs are primarily found in shallow warm water lakes, though they also occur in small streams and deep lakes. Favorable habitat includes small, shallow, weedy sections of quiet large rivers. They are often found living near Tui Chubs. Blue Chubs are capable of surviving in adverse conditions such as low levels of dissolved oxygen and water temperatures as high as 32°C. In lakes the Chubs avoid deep water areas till cooler winter temperatures result in rising oxygen levels. They have omnivorous feeding habits and may consume algae, chironomid midge larvae and pupae, waterfleas, waterboatmen, and various forms of aquatic and terrestrial insects. Blue Chubs grow rapidly until they reach sexual maturity at a size of around 12-15 cm SL. They spawn from May through August over gravel or rocky substrate in shallow water when temperatures are 15-18°C. Each female is surrounded by several males who fertilize her eggs as she releases them. Blue Chubs continue to grow slowly and may reach a maximum age of 17 years.

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