Native to Arizona, the roundtail chub is also considered a sport fish because of its hardy fighting ability and willingness to take many of the same baits and lures used for trout. Body is thick and streamlined, dark olive-gray above with silver sides. Mouth extends to front of eye. Dorsal fin and anal fin usually have 8 to10 rays. Large forked tail fin. Breeding males develop red or orange coloration on lower half of cheek and bases of paired fins. Length: 8 to 18 inches. Weight: 4 ounces to over 3 pounds. May reach 8 years of age.
Location and Habitat
Found in moderate-sized, perennial rivers throughout the state. Fish occupy pools and eddies, often concentrating in swift swirling water below rapids. Fossil Creek has a special artificial lure and fly fishing season featuring roundtail chub.
Spawning process similar to that of other chubs. Occurs at water temperatures of about 64 degrees, typically in late spring to early summer. Each female is escorted by 3-5 males, eggs are scattered over the bottom. Young chub move to margins of streams to feed and grow.
They feed on algae, aquatic and terrestrial insects, invertebrates and crayfish.
Roundtail chubs readily take artificial lures and bait and put up a strong fight. Effective lures and bait include: small spinners, spoons, flies, worms and crickets. Fishing with ultra-lite tackle and light line is an exciting way to fish for roundtail chub on an Arizona river. Make sure to check the fishing regulations for special tackle, size limits and bag limits for roundtail chub.
The meat is firm, white and very mild tasting. Intermuscular bones or floating bones are present, which can be cut out prior to cooking.