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Southern Company River Scout

Bigmouth buffalo

Bigmouth buffalo

(Ictiobus cyprinellus)

The bigmouth buffalo is a North American fresh water fish found from the Hudson Bay, the lower Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and Montana south to Louisiana. It prefers deeper sections and backwater areas or rivers, lakes and large impoundments where it forms schools in mid-water and near the bottom.

This fish has a deep and rounded body with a large head and sucker type mouth with large lips. It is bluish-green on the back, coppery-blue on the sides and light bluish grey underneath. This species can reach a maximum length of about 50 inches and can weigh about 70 lbs. This fish has a deep and rounded body with a large head and sucker type mouth with large lips. It is bluish-green on the back, coppery-blue on the sides and light bluish grey underneath. This species can reach a maximum length of about 50 inches and can weigh about 70 lbs. Look for the bigmouth buffalo in the overhead river in the River Scout gallery.

Look for the bigmouth buffalo in the overhead river in the River Scout gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The bigmouth buffalo feeds on small crustaceans, bottom plants, aquatic insects, small fish and fish eggs.
  • This fish is similar in appearance to the small mouth buffalo, but can be distinguished by its forward-facing mouth.
  • It reaches sexual maturity in about three years and has a lifespan of seven to eight years.
  • The bigmouth buffalo spawn in the spring and the female scatters about 400,000 eggs over the bottom in shallow water.
  • Its name refers to the size of its mouth in relationship to other species of buffalo.
  • Download full fact sheet

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