Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The tadpole madtom (Noturus gyrinus Mitchill) was reported by Kennicott from the "North Red River" and the Maple River in 1857 (Smithsonian Institution 1994) (Fig. A51). It was reported from the Red, Goose, Maple, and Sheyenne rivers, by Woolman (1896). Hankinson (1929) reported the tadpole madtom (listed as Schilbeodes gyrinus) from the Red River, where it was common, and Olson (1932) collected four specimens from the Red Lake River near Crookston. Since 1962, the tadpole madtom has occurred in the Forest (2,4,9,13,17), Turtle (2,9,13,17), Goose (2,13,17), Maple (2,9,12,13), Sheyenne (9,12,14,16,20,21,22), Otter Tail (1,6,9,10), South Branch Buffalo (1,9), Pembina (8,9,13), Pelican (1), Red Lake (1,10,18), Clearwater (1,9,10), Two (9), and Roseau (1,3,9,10) rivers, the Wild Rice River, MN (1,9), and the Wild Rice River, ND (13,14,20). It occurred in 19% of stream sites sampled in the Red River basin since 1962. The tadpole madtom is often abundant in samples (9).
The tadpole madtom is usually found in lakes, sloughs, and streams with depths of 0.1-1.5 meters and widths of 12-24 meters, with slow to moderate current, and with sand, gravel, or mud substrates (Becker 1983). Its range extends from Texas to Florida and north along the Atlantic coast to New York, and north in the Mississippi River valley to the Great Lakes basin (Lee et al. 1980). In Canada the tadpole madtom is present in the Assiniboine (Stewart et al. 1985), Saskatchewan, Souris, Red, English, Winnipeg, and Nelson rivers in Canada (Crossman and McAllister 1986). In Minnesota it is present in all adjacent drainage systems to the Red River basin (Underhill 1989). It is present in the Missouri river drainage in North Dakota, including the James River (Ryckman 1981). In South Dakota it is present in the eastern tributaries to the Missouri River, including the James River, and in the Minnesota and Big Sioux river drainages (Bailey and Allum 1962).