The bonytail chub is a freshwater fish native to the Colorado River basin of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming in the southwestern United States. It is the rarest of the endangered, native fish of the Colorado River and is thought to have evolved around 3-5 million years ago. Bonytail chub can grow to over 2 feet long and, like many desert fishes, its coloring tends to be darker above and lighter below, serving as a camouflage.
This fish species prefer backwaters with rocky or muddy bottoms and flowing pools, although they have been reported in swiftly moving water. They are mostly restricted to rocky canyons today, but were historically abundant in the wide downstream sections of rivers.