Riffle Sculpins are found in headwater streams with cold water and rocky or gravelly substrate. They prefer permanent streams where the water does not exceed 25-26°C, and where ample flow keeps the dissolved oxygen level near saturation. Riffle Sculpins may occupy riffles or pools, though they tend to favor areas that have adequate cover in the form of rocks, logs, or overhanging banks. These fish have similar habitat requirements similar to those of rainbow trout and are often found in association with them. Riffle Sculpins are opportunistic feeders that may pursue prey by night or ambush during the day. The diet of a sculpin may include amphipods, benthic invertebrates, fish, and various stages of caddisflies and mayflies. Riffle Sculpins reach sexual maturity in the end of their second year, with spawning taking place in late winter to early spring. Females lay 462-1,000 or more eggs under rocks within swiftwater reaches of a stream. The male takes the responsibility of guarding the nest which may contain the eggs of multiple females. Riffle Sculpins rarely exceed 4 years of life.
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