The central stoneroller is a member of the Cyprinidae family of minnows. It is a hardy species that provides important forage for gameﬁsh and is commonly used as bait.
IdentificationThe central stoneroller has a thick and barely compressed torpedo-shaped body that is dull gray with a brassy tint and a pale golden stripe along the upper sides. It has an unusual appearance due to its subterminal mouth and a hard cartilaginous ridge on the lower jaw.
The mouth formation and the lower ridge enable the central stoneroller to scrape algae and other minute organisms off rocks. There are dark brown to black blotches on the back and the sides of large specimens, the caudal ﬁn is moderately forked, and the lateral line is nearly straight.
A breeding male exhibits large tubercles on the top of the head and the upper scales almost to the base of the tail, and there are small tubercles on the pectoral rays and the ﬁrst dorsal ray; it also has an orange cast, with orange and black anal and dorsal ﬁns.
SizeThis species grows to 81⁄2 inches but is usually 4 to 6
Spawning behaviorThe male central stoneroller primarily builds pit nests by carrying pebbles in its mouth or disturbing the upstream gravel to ﬂoat pebbles downstream. Nests are communal and are constructed in gravel areas at the top of rifﬂes.
They are relatively shallow and are built in quiet areas, those with moderate current, or where there is overhanging protection. Spawning occurs in the spring, and males defend their territories and aggressively challenge other males.