This member of the minnow family can reach 6 inches in length. The silver chub has a blunt, rounded snout, a silvery patch in front of its large eyes, and a narrow, bright, silvery streak along the sides. There are small conical barbels at the corner of its mouth that are sensitive to taste.
The silver chub is a fish of large sandy rivers. It lives on or near the bottom where it finds food by sight or taste. It is found in deep water during the summer months. Few are thought to live longer than 3 years.
It was once common in the Kansas and Missouri rivers, but now is so infrequently found during sampling efforts it is considered rare. No collections from the Kansas River have been documented at the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History since 1980. However, specimens have been found during surveys in the Arkansas River and some of its tributary streams including the Ninnescah River. Most of its natural range is east of Kansas and includes the Ohio and Mississippi river basins. In Lake Erie it is known to feed on the invasive zebra mussel.
Silver Chubs are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species' preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife. Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Silver Chub:
(1) Missouri River bordering Kansas
(2) Kansas River from the confluence of Republican and Smoky Hill rivers (Ft. Riley) to the Missouri River
(3) Arkansas River from the point it enters Sedgwick County (Sec. 6-T25S-R3W) to the Oklahoma border (Sec. 18-T35S-R05E)
(4) South Fork Ninnescah River from point it enters Kingman County (Sec. 30-T27SR10W) to the confluence with the North Fork Ninnescah River in Sedgwick County (Sec. 36-T28S-R4W)
(5) Ninnescah River from the confluence of the South Fork Ninnescah and North Fork Ninnescah rivers in Sedgwick County (Sec. 36-T28S-R4W) to its confluence with the Arkansas River in Sumner County (Sec 25-T31S-R2E)