Fish Guide

Bass (green, largemouth, rock, smallmouth) - These popular lake fish range in size from 1 to 5 pounds on the average and can grow up to 20 inches. They are usually golden-brown through olive to green on the back with lighter sides and cream to milk-white on the underside. During spring and summer, they concentrate in shallow bays and on reefs but are essentially a nonmigrating fish; only retreating to pools, undercut banks or fairly deep water to avoid bright daylight. They are most active in early morning and evening.

Bluegill - See Sunfish.

Bullhead - The common name for any of several catfish, especially the species found in many streams in the east. The brown bullhead dull in color and has a large head, the black bullhead is smaller.

Carp - The common carp apparently originated in China, where many exotic varieties were bred. Carp prefer warm waters, especially shallow, mud-bottomed lakes. In the winter they become torpid, stop feeding, and stay near the bottom; in dry spells they may survive for weeks by burrowing into the mud. As bottom feeders they stir up mud and uproot vegetation, often driving out other fish; however, they can survive in stagnant or polluted waters that most fish do not inhabit.

Catfish (channel) - Catfish are mostly nocturnal scavengers, living near the bottom in shallow waters. The name catfish is derived from the feelers that extend like cat's whiskers from each side of the jaw of the fish. The dorsal and pectoral fins are often edged with sharp spines that are used in defense and can inflict severe wounds. In some cases they are poisonous. Some catfish reportedly reach weights of 650 pounds and lengths of almost 13 feet. Other unusual varieties include the cave-dwelling blind catfish, the electric catfish of Africa, and the Asian walking catfish, which can breathe air and travel over land between bodies of water.

Chub - Basically just really big minnows, chubs are widespread in rivers and lakes of Greece and Rome. The name is most often applied to the larger members of the family. The name is also applied to unrelated species such as some whitefish.

Dace (giant, horned) - Dace have pointed heads and large terminal mouths. This fish has one dorsal fin, a forked caudal fin, pelvics fins and elongated pectoral fins which are longer on males than on females. The back of the dace is dark green or blue-green, below the back there is a gold stripe along the sides, and an orange or red band underneath. There are blue, green, purple and violet reflections on the body of this fish which become more intense on males than on females and intensify during spawning.

Gar (snubnose) - The name commonly given to certain fish with long, narrow, heavily scaled bodies and bony, sharp-toothed beaks. These primarily freshwater fish reach lengths of 12 feet. The teeth are needlelike, the dorsal fin sits far back on the heavily scaled body, and the lung has blood vessels that enable the gar to breathe in stagnant water. The vertebrae have a ball-and-socket structure similar to that found in some reptiles. The fish spawn in the spring in large groups, and their roe is poisonous to many animals, including humans.

Herring (lake) - Herring are characterized by a single short dorsal fin in the middle of the upper margin of the body and by an anal fin similarly located below. The head is scaleless, and the slender body is covered with thin, cycloid scales. Most herring swim near the surface of the water in huge schools and feed on smaller fish. Although herring are mostly found in salt water, some migrate into rivers and spawn in fresh water. Others spawn offshore and release eggs that float at the surface. Herrings are about 12 inches long when mature and form a direct link in the food chain. They consume tiny plankton and in turn become a food source for sharks, sea lions, birds, crabs, seals, whales, and us.

Ketos - In the words of the scale attendant, "Ketos? Well, I think it's just a rumor. But many anglers have told the story of a kind of very large fish or serpentdepending upon who tells the storythat lives in the deepest waters of some of the local lakes."

Minnow - This name is usually applied to any small fish, but technically restricted to fish in the minnow family; this includes the chub, dace, goldfish, carp, and shiner. Minnows are generally characterized by a single, usually soft-rayed dorsal fin and one to three rows of teeth located in the throat. Carp differ from most other minnows, exhibiting a stiff spine at the leading edge of the dorsal fin and barbels at the mouth corners. Minnows live in almost all fresh waters in northern temperate regions.

Paddlefish - Paddlefish evolved nearly 65 million years ago – before upstart modern species such as walleye, trout and bass appeared on earth. Climates changed; glaciers towered, then shrank. Through it all, paddlefish swam around – just as they do now – with their mouths wide open, ramming water down their gullets to feed on algae and tiny animals called zooplankton. Growing up to 6 feet long, weighing nearly 150 pounds and propelling a stupendous foot-long snout through the water, their nearly scaleless, smooth dark forms never fail to astound fairgoers.

Perch (lake, yellow) - A species of bony fish characterized by two seperate dorsal fins, the front of which is spined. The common perch is greenish, with dark vertical bars on its sides and reddish-orange coloring on its lower fins. The somewhat smaller yellow perch is golden, with orange ventral and anal fins and dark vertical bars on its sides.

Pickerel - Coloring ranges from olive-brown to golden-brown to yellow on back; paler sides; yellowish white underside. These fish can weigh up to 5 pounds and measure up to over 2 feet. During the day, these large-finned, brassy-colored fish often rest on the bottom of lakes, hovering in the shade of submerged objects or in the shadows of deep water. They emerge at dusk to feed over shallow weed beds or rocky shoals. In midsummer, they often remain near the bottom, even at night.

Pike (slimy) - A species of freshwater fish characterized by elongated bodies and bill-like snouts. The best-known member is the northern pike, which grows to about 4.5 feet long. Pike have large, sharp-toothed jaws, silver undersides; and dark green or bronze backs. Their dorsal and anal fins are set far back toward the tail.

Salmon (king, sockeye, steelhead) - A fish characterized by an elongate body with a fleshy fin between the dorsal fin and tail. Most members of the salmon family are valuable food fish and excellent game fish. They are found in both freshwater and salt water in the colder regions of the northern hemisphere. Many return from salt water to freshwater to breed, and the young migrate to salt water after they reach maturity. Each generation of salmon returns to spawn in exactly the same breeding places as the generation before it.

Shad - The common name for several species of fishes related to the herring and sardine. Shad generally inhabit the sea or brackish waters. All species ascend rivers to spawn in freshwater.

Sucker - Any of various freshwater fish characterized by having the mouth below midline, with thick, fleshy lips. Most suckers are less than 24 inches long. They are dull in color with few markings, although breeding males may acquire a rosy or orange lateral band. Suckers obtain food by sucking up mud and organic matter from river bottoms.

Sunfish (green, yellow) - The name for a variety of unrelated freshwater and marine fish which refers to a group of freshwater fish related to the bass. Sunfish are brightly colored, deep-bodied, and rarely exceed 10 inches in length. One well-known species is the bluegill. Some ocean sunfish may reach up to 11 feet in length.

Tigerfish - The tigerfish is big, powerful, and well armed, thus making it among the worlds most sought after gamefish. The impression one gets from viewing these fish, is one of awe, terror, and mystery, not unlike the feeling of watching a Great White Shark. All of its fins are pointed, and the teeth look like knives that fit together in such a way that they can mesh like cutting sheers. All teeth are seen all the time even when the mouth is completely shut. The entire body is sleek and designed for speed. Horizontal unbroken black bands run along the entire body, hence the name tigerfish. The rest of the body is usually a silver-white-grey, however there is usually a metallic orange or yellow sheen. Because they have razor sharp knife-like teeth, and extremely strong jaw muscles, they are among the few fish that can turn the tables on prey the same size or larger than themselves.

Trout (brook, brown, lake, rainbow) - Trout is the common name for many species of fish belonging to the salmon family. Some, called sea trout, swim upriver from the sea to breed. Most species, however, live exclusively in fresh water of northern regions. The most widely distributed species is the common brook trout, or speckled brown trout. The largest of all trout is the lake trout which may weigh 30 pounds or more and is abundant in the freshwater lakes. A trout is recognized by its large mouth, violet mantle, dark mottlings, and red lateral spots. The male has a reddish band running along the side of the body. Rainbow trout are found mostly in lakes and streams and are highly prized as game fish.

Walleye - Walleye is the common name for a variety of fish including pickerels and perch. Coloring ranges from olive-brown to golden-brown to yellow on back; paler sides; yellowish white underside. These fish can weigh up to 5 pounds and measure up to over 2 feet. During the day, these large-finned, brassy-colored fish often rest on the bottom of lakes, hovering in the shade of submerged objects or in the shadows of deep water. They emerge at dusk to feed over shallow weed beds or rocky shoals. In midsummer, they often remain near the bottom, even at night.

Whitefish - These prized lake fish have been reported to weighup to 20 pounds and live for nearly 30 years. They are silvery with a pale greenish-brown back and clear fins. Lake whitefish usually feed along the bottom and school in cold, deep waters.

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