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Some areas of the Colorado River are turbulent. Consequently, it is believed that the hump causes the humpback chub to be pushed to the bottom where water velocities are lower and where the chub can hold its position without exerting excess energy. Grooves associated with the hump may aid in directing water to the fish’s gills (Minckley 1973). The long snout and beak-like mouth may allow the fish to feed without the mouth becoming filled with rushing water.
Historically ranged from below present-day Hoover Dam in the Colorado River upstream into Colorado, and in the larger portions of Colorado River tributaries in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming.