Guide To Freshwater Fish Species In America
Find species and varieties, by state.
Locate information by clicking the species images below. Or, choose a state below to find information about fresh-water fish species in that state. This site focuses primarily on freshwater lakes, but also provides some information about ponds, rivers and streams.
This is the most sought after sport fish in the USA and can be found in all states except AK and HI.
Native to northern waters, smallies can be found in all state except Alaska and Hawaii.
Found in 23 states, primarily in the south eastern region of the US, spots are feisty fighters.
Found in Florida, Georgia and Alabama waters.
Native to the Coosa River system redeye are found in FL, GA, NC, SC and TN
Fishing for catfish
These are the most popular catfish species, and is available in all but five states.
Grows to over 100 pounds and exists in two thirds of the states.
The biggest species of cats in the US, it is available in more than half the states.
Resides in one third of the states and prefers backwaters and muddy ponds.
The larger of the two crappie species, they are found in all but two states.
Found in all states other than Alaska and Hawaii.
This great tasting, white-meat fish is found in three fourths of the states.
The most popular of all panfish is found in lakes, rivers and ponds in all the states.
Found in less than ten states in the southeast sector of the country.
Found in over half the states, the green sunfish grows to over 2 lbs.
Grows to over two pounds and found in more than a dozen states.
Found in seven states in the southern/eastern sectors of the US.
One third of the states harbor these sunfish which prefer coldish waters.
Less than ten states house this hefty sunfish with very colorful males.
One of the larger panfish, the redear is available in about half the states.
Generally under three pounds, rock bass are found in about half the states.
Found in less than ten states, they rarely exceed one-half pound.
This plant-eating sunfish is only found in over a half-dozen states.
Located in almost half the states, the warmouth grows to over two pounds.
The largest of sunfish, white bass tend to travel in schools.
Excellent tasting sunfish which grows to over four pounds.
This schooling fish averages less than one-half pound.
The second most popular sunfish grows to well over three pounds, and makes for a great fish fry.
Great tasting, and swims in cooler waters in all but a few states.
A favorite in almost twenty states, the cutthroat can grow to over forty pounds.
The brook is found in cold streams and creeks in nearly forty states.
Found in over forty states this fighter is a favorite of many trout anglers.
The largest of the trouts, lake trout can exceed seventy pounds.
Found in a few western states this is the smallest of the trouts, and a protected species in some waters.
These sea-run rainbow trout are strong fighters, and found in less than ten states.
Found in over a dozen states, they can grow to around eighty pounds.
Less than ten states sport the chinook, which grows to over 30 pounds.
Found in AK, OR and WA the chum is aka dog salmon or blue backs.
This popular salmon grows to around thirty pounds.
These landlocked sockeye salmon seldom reach ten pounds.
Found in AK and WA the pink salmon grows to over a dozen pounds.
Averaging five to six pounds, the sockeye is found in AK, ID and WA.
Landlocked stripers can exceed sixty pounds and reside in over forty states.
Hybrid striped bass
A cross between a striped bass and a white bass, they can grow to over 25 pounds.
Found primarily in southeastern states this gar comes in large sizes.
Great fighter but poor tasting, the bowfin prefers warmer waters.
Less than ten pounds with nasty teeth, they eat any smaller fish.
Grows to over twenty pounds and lives in close to half the states.
This aggressive fighter ives in northern, cooler waters and grows to over sixty pounds.
Native to cold water in the north, they now reside in over forty states.
Bring heavy tackle as these guys grow to over six hundred pounds.
Found in over a dozen mid-western states, they are excellent table fare.
Mix of sauger and walleye are also found in over a dozen states.
Up to ten pounds, it is found in the Mississippi River drainage system.
Found in nine states, this prehistoric fish grows to monster size.
More than half the states offer them, and they grow to over fifty pounds.
By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about each selected fish. Find details about the life cycle, plus tips on how to locate and catch them. Each page also provides links to state pages with a list of lakes where each species can be found.
Fish species and fishing opportunities by state.