PURPOSE. To identify the role of the BBSome protein Bardet–Biedl syndrome 5 (BBS5) in photoreceptor function, protein trafficking, and structure using a congenital mutant mouse model. METHODS. Bbs5–/– mice (2 and 9 months old) were used to assess retinal function and morphology. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of retinal sections was performed to visualize histology. Electroretinography was used to analyze rod and cone photoreceptor function. Retinal protein localization was visualized using immunofluorescence (IF) within retinal cryosections. TUNEL staining was used to quantify cell death. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to examine retinal ultrastructure. RESULTS. In the Bbs5–/– retina, there was a significant loss of nuclei in the outer nuclear layer accompanied by an increase in cell death. Through electroretinography, Bbs5–/–mice showed complete loss of cone photoreceptor function. IF revealed mislocalization of the cone-specific proteins M- and S-opsins, arrestin-4, CNGA3, and GNAT2, as well as a light-dependent arrestin-1 mislocalization, although perpherin-2 was properly localized. TEM revealed abnormal outer segment disk orientation in Bbs5–/–. CONCLUSIONS. Collectively, these data suggest that, although BBS5 is a core BBSome component expressed in all ciliated cells, its role within the retina mediates specific photoreceptor protein cargo transport. In the absence of BBS5, cone-specific protein mislocalization and a loss of cone photoreceptor function occur.