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Fishes of Idaho

How are your identification skills? Do you know which are native and which were introduced? To see photos and descriptions, and learn more about Idaho fish, check out our Fishes of Idaho online database.

There are around 20,000 species of fish in the world. About 58% of these are marine (saltwater) fish, 41% are freshwater fish, and 1% are both. We have around 100 species in Idaho, and the list keeps growing as more non-native fish are released into Idaho waters. There are only 39 species of fish native to Idaho. The rest were introduced--some by accident, but most on purpose.

(Salmonoids)

Bear Lake whitefish (Prosopium abyssicola)

Native

The Bear Lake whitefish is native only in Bear Lake in Idaho and Utah. These small native whitefish rarely exceed 8 inches in length. They are winter spawners and are difficult to catch with hook and line, but they have a reputation for being good to eat. Some early settlers to the area harvested these fish for commercial purposes, selling them at meat markets.

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