Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum)
Although several species of redhorse are found in New York-- silver, black, golden, greater, and shorthead -- none is very abundant. The shorthead redhorse is the most commonly-observed member of the redhorse genus (Moxostoma) in New York State.
Generally, redhorses have a dark back and silvery sides, giving a bronze or copper reflection. These fish usually have paired fins with red, orange, or copper tint; some species also have red to orange dorsal, anal, and tail fins. They range in average size from 10 to 18 inches and from 1 to several pounds.
As with other suckers, redhorses spawn in spring and are bottom feeders.
The shorthead redhorse prefers large lakes and streams. It is widely distributed in New York from Lake Erie along Lake Ontario, the Genesee River, Cayuga Lake, St. Lawrence River, eastern Mohawk River, and the upper Delaware River. A few have been reported from northeastern New York.
Distribution of the shorthead redhorse in NY state. Dark dots represent where actual samples of shorthead redhorses were taken. White dots represent historic distributions.
A 292 KB image of the shorthead redhorse is also available for download.