Three chubs now single species

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andy's picture
Three chubs now single species

Here's a link to an article by Arizona fish and game division talking about the decision to lump the Gila, Headwater and Roundtail chub into a single species -



Corey's picture
Interesting find! Makes sense ...

I sure couldn't tell them apart. I have combined them all into one species and made a note of the change in the Roundtail Chub description.

Goldenfishberg's picture
Now that's thrifty!

3 chubs for the price of one!?! I like it! This guy knows a deal when he sees one. 

Ya just Can't catch um from the couch.

Desert Angler
Desert Angler's picture

That will actually make things a little easier for me here in AZ.

andy's picture
Can you explain why?

I think I know why it makes fishing easier for you, but can you please explain?  It would be great to get an opinion from a local angler...


Do you think it's a good idea?

Desert Angler
Desert Angler's picture
3 chubs in 1.

Absolutely! My comment was somewhat made in jest as it can be a little daunting when you realize how many miles you are putting on your car chasing these little fish. I don't think that I would have ever caught a Gila Chub as they are endangered and I have never heard of an angler intentionally catching one. The Roundtail Chub would be the easiest for me as they are found in several river systems in Arizona and I have gotten a few tips from other anglers on where to find them. Lastly is the Headwater Chub, which would have taken a lot of work on my part  to catch one. My best chances of hooking into one would be in Fossil Creek in Arizona.

For anyone that is unfamiliar, Fossil Creek is a very beautiful little stream in Northern Arizona with crystal clear pools that are truly something to see. However, this once pristine area has been horribly trashed over the years, mostly by people who come to swim and hang out in the stream pools. Fortunately, starting this year, a permit is now required to visit the Fossil Creek area from May 1st to October 1st in order to limit the number of people accessing the area. The permit reservations must be made in advance and from what I've heard, there can be very limited availability during certain weeks. Most importantly, your permit limits you to a parking spot for 1 specific lot only (out of 9 different parking lots). Now with Headwater Chubs, I believe that the only real way to tell the difference between a Headwater Chub and a Roundtail Chub is determining which part of Fossil Creek the fish was caught in. To my knowledge, certain sections of the creek have Headwaters and other parts have Roundtails. Therefore, it would be necessary to fish along the entire length of the creek to ensure you caught both species. With the current parking system, this would be very difficult as you are not able to move your vehicle to different parking areas. So, long story short: I was going to have to wait until after October 1st this year to go after a Headwater Chub. There were also rumors that the Roundtail and/or the Headwater Chub's conservation status was going to be changed to Theatened (or Endangered?) and you would no longer be able to fish for them in Fossil Creek. Luckily, I don't think this is true.

I really do have a tremendous respect for our native fish in Arizona. And it really is a privilege to fish for the few native species available to anglers as so many of our native fish are endangered or even extinct.  I am not a biologist, just an angler so if anyone has a different opinion or believes they can correct any facts in my post, please feel free to share.

Cast_and_Blast's picture
I couldn't really tell the

I couldn't really tell the difference between the Headwater and Roundtail either.  Besides that, if they were distinctly different, then I'm sure Fossil Creek's population would have hybridized the two into one anyway.  I pretty much went by size when IDing them.  I was told that most of Fossil Creek's chubs were Headwaters and then when I caught a couple of larger, more mottled up specimens, they were Roundtails because the info I found said Headwaters only get so big.  I'm glad for the change.  It brings more certainty to my lifelist.  It's kind of like the Mimic vs. Channel Shiner.  I hated trying to figure those out.


I'm glad I went to Fossil Creek when I did.

zippyFX's picture
"...these chub populations

"...these chub populations are physically similar and have been genetically  indistinguishable ... "


pretty much sums it up......