Tui chub: No photo available. Do you have a photograph of a Tui chub to share? If so, please contact

Siphateles bicolor
  • Olive-colored to bluish-grey on back.
  • Lighter on sides, white/yellow on belly.
  • Pink and yellow tints during the breeding season.
  • Usually less than 1 foot long.

Record Observations
Species Description:

“This seems to be the most abundantly represented species in Pyramid Lake, approaching the shore at times in enormous schools.  Perched on a high tufa crag near the shore one may observe countless numbers of these fish slowly passing through the clear water.  From the cliffs above they resemble large purple clouds reflected from the green surface of the lake.”   -John Otterbein Snyder, 1917

Tui chub are lake-dwellers.  They are abundant in Tahoe and Pyramid Lake (Sigler & Sigler 1987), and if found in the Truckee River, would most likely only occur directly downstream from Lake Tahoe or in very slow-moving portions of the Lower Truckee close to Pyramid Lake (Rivers 1994).  Tui chub are slow-growing, and feed on invertebrates, plants, algae and sometimes other fish (Sigler & Sigler).  There are two forms of Tui-chub — a bottom-dwelling form, and a form that hangs out in the open water.  In the past, these have sometimes been described as two separate species.  In Pyramid Lake, Tui-chub follow zooplankton to the surface at night, where they feed, usually between 8pm and 4am.  Tui chub are important as a food item for Lahontan cutthroat trout in Pyramid Lake and for nesting birds on Anaho Island (Sigler & Sigler 1987).

Photos & Information needed!

Do you have an original photograph of Tui chub from the Truckee River, Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake?    If so, please contribute photos and observations here!



Rivers, I. L. (1994). Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press.

Sigler, W. F., & Sigler, J. W. (1987). Fishes of the Great Basin: A natural history. Reno: University of Nevada Press.

Snyder, John O. 1917. The Fishes of the Lahontan System of Nevada and Northeastern California. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Volume XXXV, 1915-16. Document No. 843, September 28, 1917.


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