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Bigmouth buffalo illustration

Bigmouth Buffalo

Sucker Family: Suckers are native fish and as their name implies, have sucker-like mouths with large lips and no teeth. They are suited to feed on the bottom and serve as forage for other fish.

Bigmouth Buffalo Identification

  • Heavyset bodies
  • Large scales
  • Blue-green to bronze in color
  • Relatively large mouth for a sucker, located at the end of its snout


Bigmouth buffalo are the largest member of the sucker family.

Commonly mistaken for carp, buffalo are not related to common carp.

They are native to large river habitats, and feed mainly on plankton. Thus, they are not commonly caught by anglers, but are a primary target for those who bow fish.

Recent studies have shown bigmouth buffalo can live to very old ages, with some fish over 100 years recently documented in neighboring Minnesota.