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Fishes of Idaho

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

Fish Family Origin
American shad
Alosa sapidissima

Clupeidae
Native
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Arctic grayling
Thymallus arcticus

Salmonoids
Non-native
Arctic grayling have a holarctic distribution, that is they are found around the earth at arctic latitudes. Grayling naturally inhabit both lakes and streams. They are not native to Idaho, but have been introduced to provide fishing opportunities in some alpine lakes. Grayling spawn in the spring with adults typically reaching 10-15 inches in length and can live as long as 11 or 12 years. They have sail-like, colorful dorsal fins are well noted for their eagerness to take a fly.
Bear Lake whitefish
Prosopium abyssicola

Salmonoids
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.
Bonneville cisco
Prosopium gemmiferu

Salmonoids
Native
The Bonneville cisco is native only to Bear Lake in Idaho and Utah. These fish first reproduce at the age of three and a 6 inch female can produce over 2,500 eggs, to be spawned in winter. Bonneville cisco are planktivores, feeding primarily on zooplankton. Like the Bear Lake whitefish the Bonneville cisco is not usually captured with standard fishing gear, but they are reported to be good eating. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Bonneville whitefish
Prosopium spilonotus

Salmonoids
Native
The Bonneville whitefish is native only in Bear Lake in Idaho and Utah. Like the Bear lake whitefish, the Bonneville whitefish is relatively small. It rarely exceeds 12 inches in length. Bonneville whitefish spawn in early winter and are vulnerable to angling. Their flesh is reported to be very good to eat.
Brook trout
Salvelinus fontinalis

Salmonoids
Non-native
Brook trout were introduced to Idaho in the late 1800's in an attempt to duplicate their popularity in the eastern United States. Like bull trout, brook trout are char and spawn in the fall. The genetic similarities and habitat overlaps of the two species have resulted in unfortunate hybridization between the two species in many areas, further threatening bull trout populations. Brook trout are also a threat to native cutthroat and rainbow trout because of their highly aggressive nature and slightly larger size as fry. Brook trout are moderately popular sport fish in Idaho, although their tendency to mature at small sizes in unproductive waters leads to overpopulation and stunting. IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Bart Gamett
Brown trout
Salmo trutta

Salmonoids
Non-native
Brown trout are native to Europe and western Asia. They were introduced to North America as a sportfish in the mid 1800's. Brown trout are aggressive piscivores (fish eaters) that can grow to large sizes--the record in Idaho is 26 pounds, 6 ounces. Brown trout spawn in mid to late fall in rivers and streams, and spend their adult years in habitats ranging from small streams to large lakes. Anadromous (ocean-migrating) populations have developed in many parts of the world. Brown trout are more tolerant of warm water temperatures than Idaho's native trout species. Bart Gamett Bart Gamett
Bull trout
Salvelinus confluentus

Salmonoids
Native
Bull trout are Idaho's only native species of char-a sub-group of the trout and salmon family that is distinguished by light-colored spots and fall spawning. Bull trout are secretive fish that require extensive cover in the form of pools, streamside vegetation and log jams. In addition, they require very cold water. Because of their particular habitat requirements, bull trout are extremely sensitive to habitat degradation. Non-native species, such as lake trout and brook trout BULL TROUTa.jpg (14874 bytes)also threaten bull trout through predation, competition, and hybridization. Overharvest and poaching have contributed to the decline of bull trout populations in Idaho as well. Because of the depressed and declining status of bull trout, they are listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Bart Gamett, Sherman Sprague, Greg Schoby Bart Gamett, Sherman Sprague, Greg Schoby Bart Gamett, Sherman Sprague, Greg Schoby Bart Gamett, Sherman Sprague, Greg Schoby
Chinook salmon
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Salmonoids
Native
lso known as "kings" Chinook salmon are the largest members of the Pacific salmon family. Their size is related mainly to their later age-at-maturity. Whereas coho and sockeye salmon generally spend 11/2 years in the ocean, chinook spend 2-4 years. chinook2a.jpg (15082 bytes) There are three sub-groups of Chinook salmon in Idaho--spring, summer, and fall Chinook--named for the period when they begin their homeward migration. Spring salmon migrate the furthest distance inland to spawn in tributaries to the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater Rivers. Summer Chinook historically spawned in the upper mainstem of Idaho's large rivers. The majority of summer Chinook habitat has been destroyed or left inaccessible by the middle Snake River dams. Fall Chinook spawn in the lower and middle reaches of the Snake River. All stocks of anadromous Chinook salmon in Idaho are now protected under the Endangered Species Act. A healthy landlocked population has been introduced into Coeur d'Alene Lake, where it has created a popular sport fishery and also holds the Idaho state record for landlocked Chinook Salmon at 42 pounds. IDFG IDFG IDFG
Coho salmon
Oncorhynchus kisutch

Salmonoids
Native
The historic distribution and number of coho salmon in Idaho is not well-documented. They are not generally known to migrate the long distances that sockeye and chinook salmon do, although there are reports of coho salmon returns in tributaries to the Clearwater River. Attempts to create landlocked populations have not been highly successful. Attempts to re-establish anadromous populations are currently underway by Native American Tribal fisheries programs.
Convict cichlid
Archocentrus nigrofasciatus

Cichlidae
Cutthroat trout
Oncorhynchus clarkii

Salmonoids
Native
The Idaho State Fish, the cutthroat trout is a symbol of the pristine lakes, rivers, and streams of the west. As the name suggests, cutthroat are easily recognized by the distinct red slashes beneath their lower jaw. Because they evolved in fairly unproductive environments, cutthroat trout have developed the unique adaptation of being exceptionally aggressive and opportunistic feeders-a characteristic that makes them very popular with anglers. Because cutthroat trout require cold water, clean gravel substrate, diverse stream habitat and ample cover, cutthroat are sensitive to habitat changes. There are 3 subspecies of cutthroat trout in Idaho: Bonneville (including Bear Lake variation), Westslope and Yellowstone (including Snake River fine spotted variation). Bear Lake cutthroat Bonneville cutthroat Snake River finespotted cutthroat Westslope cutthroat Yellowstone cutthroat
Eastern mosquitofish
Gambusia holbrooki

Poecilliidae
Golden trout
Oncorhynchus mykiss aquabonita

Salmonoids
Non-native
Golden trout are native to the Kern River drainage in California. They are very popular with trout anglers, mainly because of their beautiful coloration and their association with pristine alpine habitats. Golden trout have been stocked in mountain lakes throughout Idaho to provide a unique angling opportunity. Although they can achieve large sizes (Idaho record is 5 lbs 2 oz), they are not generally known to be large members of the trout family.  David Venditti  David Venditti
Green swordtail
Xiphophorus hellerii

Poecilliidae
Guppy
Poecilia reticulata

Poecilliidae
Lake trout
Salvelinus namaycush

Salmonoids
Non-native
Lake trout are another introduced member of the char group. They are similar to bull trout in that they are aggressive piscivores (fish-eaters) that can grow to large sizes. The record in Idaho is 57 1/2 pounds. Lake trout are slow growing, long-lived species that may not mature for 10 years, and can live more than 30 years. Unlike most trout and char in Idaho, which require streams and rivers for spawning and early rearing, lake trout generally carry out their entire life cycle in a lake. For this reason, they have successfully been able to outcompete native species such as cutthroat and bull trout, which have limited habitat to utilize. Unlike most trout and char in Idaho, which require streams and rivers for spawning and early rearing, lake trout generally carry out their entire life cycle in a lake. For this reason, they have successfully been able to outcompete native species such as cutthroat and bull trout, which have limited habitat to utilize. IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar
Lake whitefish
Coregonus clupeaformis

Salmonoids
Non-native
Lake whitefish are widely distributed across North America, but are not native to Idaho. They are native to the Great Lakes region of the U.S., and across most of Canada and Alaska. Adults are typically between 15 and 20 inches in length, but some fish from the Great Lakes system have attained weights in excess of 20 pounds. Lake whitefish spawn in the fall and typically feed on aquatic insects larvae, freshwater clams and snails, amphipods, and mysids. Lake whitefish have historically been an important food fish for people and currently provide sport fishing opportunities for anglers in several Idaho lakes and reservoirs. Joe DuPont
Mountain whitefish
Prosopium williamsoni

Salmonoids
Native
Mountain whitefish are native to lakes and streams of western North America including Idaho. Adults are typically 10 to 16 inches in length and spawn in the fall or early winter. Mountain whitefish spend much of their time near the bottom of streams and feed mainly on aquatic insect larvae. These fish have been an important food fish for humans and provide a variety of angling opportunities ranging from dry fly to spin fishing. Bart Gamett Bart Gamett
Mozambique tilapia
Tilapia mossambica

Cichlidae
Pygmy whitefish
Prosopium coulterii

Salmonoids
Native
The pygmy whitefish has a disjunct distribution across the US and Canada. These fish can be found in Lake Superior in the central US and Canada, and in river systems in Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Washington. Pygmy whitefish are also found in Canadian river systems in Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon Territories. Adult pygmy whitefish reach maximum sizes of about 10 inches and spawn in late fall or early winter. Primary foods of pygmy whitefish are crustaceans and aquatic insect larvae. Although these small whitefish are not a highly sought for food or as sportfish for people, they provide an important source of food for other fish such as bull, rainbow, brown, and lake trout in Idaho.
Rainbow trout
Oncorhynchus mykiss

Salmonoids
Native
Known for an aggressive fight and excellent taste, rainbow trout are one of the most popular sport fishes in North America. Coloration varies with size and habitat, but rainbows usually have a pink or reddish band along their sides and white tipped fins. Rainbow trout are native to the Pacific coastal states and provinces of North America, and to much of the Rocky Mountains west of the continental divide. Rainbow trout are an adaptable species that has been widely transplanted and is now found in lakes, large rivers, and small streams throughout the world. Rainbow trout have been very successfully domesticated and are widely utilized by fishery management agencies to supplement sport fisheries. They are also an important commercial aquaculture species in Idaho, particularly in the Magic Valley region. The anadromous form (ocean-going) of the rainbow trout is known as the steelhead. IDFG and Liz Mamer IDFG and Liz Mamer
Redbelly tilapia
Tilapia zilli

Cichlidae
Sockeye salmon
Oncorhynchus nerka

Salmonoids
Native
Sockeye are a unique species of salmon because they require a lake for the first one to two years of their lives. Payette, Stanley, Alturas and Redfish lakes in Idaho once supported strong runs of sockeye. The most sensitive anadromous species to the habitat degradation throughout the Columbia basin, sockeye were the first anadromous fish species in Idaho to be listed under the Endangered Species Act, and are currently on the brink of extinction. sockeye kokaneea.jpg (16567 bytes) Kokanee, which are still abundant in lakes throughout the state, are the landlocked form of sockeye salmon. Kokanee are much smaller than the ocean-migrating form, with fish generally spawning at 10-14 inches. They are important in Idaho as sport fish and as forage fish for large trophy fisheries such the Pend Oreille Lake rainbows and Coeur d'Alene Lake chinook. IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Sean Cross, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Sean Cross, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Sean Cross, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Sean Cross, Bart Gamett IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Sean Cross, Bart Gamett
Steelhead
Oncorhynchus mykiss

Salmonoids
Native
Steelhead are an anadromous (ocean-migrating) form of rainbow trout. After hatching in streams and rivers of Idaho, steelhead typically spend a year in freshwater before migrating to the ocean. Steelhead then spend one to two years in the ocean growing to large sizes before returning to spawn. Those that spend one year in the ocean generally return as 5-8 pound fish, whereas those that spend two years in the ocean are often 12-20 pounds. Although strong returns of hatchery steelhead are still enjoyed by anglers throughout the state, the number of wild steelhead is declining. IDFG, S. Sprague IDFG, S. Sprague Jerry White Jr.
Western mosquitofish
Gambusia affinis

Poecilliidae
Black bullhead
Ameiurus melas
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Non-native
Black bullheads can be distinguished from brown bullheads by the absence of barbs on the trailing edge of the pectoral spine, as well as a generally more plump, pot-bellied appearance. Black bullheads are typically 5-7 inches and are generally smaller than brown bullheads. Because they rarely exceed 12 inches, they are not as popular with anglers as brown bullheads, though most anglers do not differentiate the species. Like brown bullheads, black bullheads are largely nocturnal feeders that rely heavily on their sense of smell. They are fairly omnivorous, feeding on insects, crustaceans, worms, amphipods, and plant material.
Blue catfish
Ictalurus furcatus
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Brown bullhead
Ameiurus nebulosus
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Non-native
Brown bullheads are the larger of the "bullhead species" in Idaho. They are typically 9-11 inches, but can grow to 20 inches. Brown bullheads can be found in many lakes, ponds, and slow moving rivers throughout Idaho. They are native to central and eastern North America, where they are very popular gamefish. Brown bullheads can be distinguished from black bullheads by the presence of small, jagged barbs on the trailing edge of the pectoral spine. Equipped with an excellent sense of smell brown bullheads are nocturnal bottom feeders. They are commonly caught by anglers fishing with bait late in the spring during spawning season, or after dark. Interestingly, they are not particularly popular gamefish in Idaho, despite an abundance of healthy populations with large fish. Brown bullheads are extremely hearty fish, tolerant of very low oxygen levels and high water temperatures. For this reason, it is very difficult to eradicate undesirable populations.
Channel catfish
Ictalurus punctatus
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Non-native
Channel catfish are native to the eastern and north central North America. They have been introduced into the Snake River, where they have established healthy reproducing populations as well as in many lakes around the state. They generally don't reproduce in Idaho lakes and are therefore stocked to maintain populations. Channel catfish are much larger than their cousins, bullheads. They are typically 2-10 pounds in weight, although they can get much larger. The Idaho state record is 31 pounds. They can be easily distinguished from other catfishes in Idaho by their forked tail versus the rounded tail of bullheads and flathead catfish. Channel catfish are generally bottom oriented, but they are highly piscivorous (fish eating) and use their eyesight more than most other catfish species.
Flathead catfish
Pylodictis olivaris
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Non-native
Flathead catfish are the largest member of the catfish family found in Idaho and the second largest gamefish in the state. The native range of the flathead catfish includes the large warm water streams and rivers of the Mississippi River, Ohio River, lower Missouri River drainage to western Texas and northeastern Mexico. These fish were likely introduced into the Snake River by mistake in the 1940's. Flathead catfish prefer the slow moving water of large rivers and lakes. It is a solitary predator feeding primarily at night. The fish are a dark olive brown color with mottling on the sides, and, as the name implies, characterized by a large, broad, flat head. Young flatheads feed largely on insects, crustacea, worms and small fish, but adults feed almost entirely on fish. Flathead catfish can grow very large, as the Idaho state record of 58 ? pounds demonstrates. Throughout their native range, flathead catfish can achieve weights of over 100 lbs (45 kg) but most weigh 2 to 15 lbs (1 to 7 kgs). It is a popular game fish because it achieves such large sizes and is a hard fighter. University of North Carolina
Tadpole madtom
Notorus gyrinus
Catfishes
Ictalurids
Non-native
Generally less than 3-4 inches long, tadpole madtoms are the smallest catfish family member found in Idaho. They are native to eastern and central North America, but can be found in Idaho in the lower Boise River as well as the middle Snake River. They were most likely inadvertently introduced into Idaho when bullheads or channel catfish were introduced over 50 years ago. Tadpole madtoms can inflict a mildly poisonous (but quite painful) wound with the spine on their pectoral fin.
Burbot
Lota lota
Codfishes
Gadids
Native
Also known as "ling" burbot are the only freshwater member of the cod family. They are easily identified by their eel-like appearance, round tail, and a single barbel (whisker) protruding from their lower jaw. In Idaho, burbot are native only to the Kootenai River, where the population has declined since the construction of Libby Dam. Kootenai River burbot have recently been petitioned for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Among the many characteristics that make burbot an unusual fish is their spawning behavior. Whereas most fish spawn in the spring, summer, or fall, burbot spawn in the dead of winter. Spawning takes place in shallow water in a great writhing aggregation of fish. IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar, Bart Gamett
Pacific lamprey
Lampetra tridentata
Lampreys
Petromyzonids
Native
Pacific lamprey belong to a very unique class of fish known as agnaths, or "jawless fishes". Unlike any other Idaho fish, they are a predacious parasite that feeds off of live fish. Lampreys have a circular suction-cup mouth that is lined with hook-like teeth. lamprey moutha.jpg (9088 bytes)Once attached to a prey fish, lampreys use their tooth-lined tongue to rasp a hole through the skin of their prey. They are then able to feed upon blood and tissue, maintaining the flow by injecting an anti-coagulant to keep the victims blood from clotting. Perhaps equally amazing is that these eel-like fish are anadromous. Just as salmon and steelhead do, Pacific lampreys migrate from streams and rivers in Idaho to the Pacific Ocean before returning to spawn. Although they are not particularly strong swimmers, they are able to overcome tremendous natural and artificial obstacles such as waterfalls and dams by using their mouth to cling to the substrate. Although not well-documented, the number of lampreys in Idaho is known to have declined substantially in recent decades. IDFG IDFG
Chiselmouth
Acrocheilus alutaceus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The chiselmouth is a western species of the minnow family found in the Columbia and Fraser River (British Columbia) systems, and the Malheur basin of eastern Oregon. In Idaho, it is found in the Snake system below Shoshone Falls. It inhabits moderate to slow-flowing streams of all sizes, but can be found in lakes. The species reaches a length of about 12 inches and is considered a herbivore, a plant-eating fish. With the aid of the characteristic hard, sharp plate on the lower jaw, adults feed on algae, mainly diatoms, by scraping the attached material off rocks and other bottom substrate. Young fish consume surface insects in addition to free-floating diatoms. Spawning occurs in late spring or early summer when water temperatures reach about 60 F. Spawning occurs in streams over gravel or small rubble. Each female produces about 6,000 eggs. This species may serve as a major link in the food chain between the primary production of plants to piscivorous fish. J. Trainer J. Trainer
Common carp
Cyprinus carpio
Minnows
Cyprinids
Non-native
The common carp was native to Eurasia and introduced into the U.S. in 1877. The U.S. Fish Commission sent a shipment of carp to Bear Lake and Oneida Counties, Idaho in 1882. These shipments continued to Idaho until the late 1890's. The carp is now well established in all drainages of the state except the Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille and Kootenai systems. This species prefers warm, moderately shallow water of streams, rivers, natural lakes, and man-made impoundments where aquatic vegetation is plentiful. They tolerate turbid, polluted waters with low dissolved oxygen. Carp spawn in spring and early summer in shallow, weedy areas. Females produce thousands to millions of eggs, depending on their size. The eggs are distributed over a large area, sink and adhere to the bottom. Carp are omnivores, feeding largely on plant material and a variety of aquatic invertebrates. The species is generally considered undesirable because of their habit of stirring up the bottom while feeding, causing siltation and turbidity. This habitat alteration generally has a negative impact on native fish species.
Fathead minnow
Pimephales promelas
Minnows
Cyprinids
Goldfish
Carassius auratus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Non-native
The goldfish is a minnow native to eastern Asia, but widely introduced throughout the world and the U.S. U.S. Fish Commission personnel first introduced it into Idaho in the late 1880's. There are scattered populations in several areas of Idaho. They inhabit still waters, often low in oxygen, with thick vegetation. Goldfish are omnivores, feeding on plant material and a variety of aquatic invertebrates. Adults in Idaho probably deposit from 200 to 2000 adhesive eggs in late spring to mid-summer over submerged vegetation. Although this species reaches 18 inches in length and 3 pounds in some places in the world, most Idaho specimens are less than 8 inches in length. Introductions have occurred by the U.S. Fish Commission, by escapes from hatcheries and outdoor ponds, and by releases of aquarium fish and unused bait. These introductions have been detrimental to native fishes in most cases, although in Idaho, this species has not increased in numbers to become a nuisance. Darren Thornhill
Grass carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella
Minnows
Cyprinids
Lake chub
Couesius plumbeus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The lake chub, a 4 to 5 inch member of the minnow family, occurs across Canada, Alaska and the northern U.S. from New York to Washington. In Idaho, it is native only to the Kootenai River system. It generally is found in a variety of habitats in lakes and streams, but in Idaho it prefers the smaller streams to the main Kootenai. Spawning occurs in late spring and non-adhesive eggs are deposited in areas of coarse gravel or small rubble. Apparently they feed mainly on zooplankton and aquatic insect larvae. In some parts of its range, this species is an important forage fish for larger predaceous fish and is used as a baitfish. In Idaho, however, the species does not occur in areas that support large populations of predator fish.
Leatherside chub
Snyderichthys copei
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
This small (3 - 5 inch) minnow is native to the Bonneville and upper Snake River basins of UT, ID, and WY, and the Wood River system of ID. Its habitat is pools or riffles in moderate current of cool to cold creeks and rivers. Little is known about the biology of this species. Probably spawns in mid-summer. It may serve as forage for other fishes. IDFG SW Region
Leopard dace
Rhinichthys falcatus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The leopard dace is a western species found in the Columbia and Fraser River systems of OR, WN, and British Columbia. In Idaho, it occurs in the Snake River system below Shoshone Falls. The species inhabits slower and deeper water of streams compared to the longnose dace. It probably spawns in early summer and in a similar manner as that of the longnose dace. Aquatic and terrestrial insects make up most of their diet. Leopard dace grow to 3 - 4 inches in length. They probably are forage for other predaceous fishes, and thus, form a link in the food chain between insects and large fish.
Longnose dace
Rhinichthys cataractae
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The longnose dace is widely distributed across northcentral North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In Idaho, it is common in every river system in the state. They prefer the riffle areas of streams, but can be found along the shoreline of lakes where the substrate is composed of small rubble. It is a benthic species, living among the stones on the bottoms of streams. Longnose dace spawn in late spring/early summer on gravel bottoms of shallow riffles. Eggs, about 400 to 3,300 per female, are adhesive and are scattered on the substrate. The food of this species is primarily aquatic insect larvae. They reach a size of 3 to 6 inches. The fry of this dace may serve as food for game fishes and it has been used as a bait fish in parts of its range. S. Sprague
Northern pikeminnow
Ptychocheilus oregonensis
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The northern pikeminnow is native to the pacific slope of western North America from Oregon north into British Columbia. In Idaho, the species is found in lakes and streams of the Snake River below Shoshone Falls, and the Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Kootenai River systems. It prefers lakes and slow moving portions of streams. They spawn in late spring/early summer in shallow water over a gravelly bottom in streams, but will spawn along lake shores. Eggs apparently are randomly deposited over gravel beds. Females produce from 12,000 to 100,00 eggs, depending on size (average about 40,000). Size of mature fish usually varies from 2 to 5 pounds, but they have been reported to 29 pounds and 25 inches in length. Juveniles feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates, but fish are the favored prey of larger fish. In addition to young salmon and trout, pikeminnows also feed on sculpins, other minnows, and suckers. They are considered serious predators of game fish and much effort has been expended in attempts to eradicate them. Currently there is a bounty program on them if caught from the lower Snake River in Washington. S. Sprague
Peamouth chub
Mylocheilus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The peamouth chub is a western minnow native to the Columbia River system and coastal drainages of OR, WN, ID, MT, and British Columbia. It also is found in Alberta. In Idaho, this species is native to the Snake River and tributaries below Shoshone Falls, and the Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille, and Kootenai River systems. It prefers lakes and slow-moving portions of streams and will concentrate where aquatic vegetation is present. Peamouth spawn in shallow water of streams and along lake shores over a gravel or rubble bottom. In late spring, eggs are broadcast on the bottom where they adhere to the substrate. From 5,000 to over 30,000 eggs are produced per female, depending on age and size. This species attains a size of 9 to 12 inches in length. They feed on a variety of small, aquatic invertebrates. Peamouth can be taken on hook and line, but are not sought after by most fishermen. Their young serve as forage for predaceous fishes.
Redside shiner
Richardsonius balteatus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The redside shiner is a western minnow found from northern British Columbia to southern OR and eastward to the Rocky Mountains. It foundthroughout the Columbia River drainage and the Bonneville basin. In Idaho, this species is found in all major river systems. It prefers ponds, lakes, ditches, springs, sloughs, and rivers where the current is slow or absent. Spawning usually occurs in early summer, when females move into shallow waters and broadcast eggs that sink to the bottom and adhere to the substrate. Females produce from 800 to 3,600 eggs each year. Shiners feed on small planktonic organisms, then switch to insects, mainly terrestrial, later in their life. Redside shiners attain 4 - 5 inches in length, although they can reach 6 to 7 inches in some localities. They are fed upon by a variety of fishes, especially the spiny-ray species, and fish-eating birds. Photo credits: J. Trainer J. Trainer J. Trainer
Speckled dace
Rhinichthys osculus
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The speckled dace is found in the U.S. and Canada west of the continental divide. It occurs from the Columbia River system south to the Colorado River system in CA, NV, AZ, and UT. In Idaho, it is found in all tributaries of the Snake and Bear Rivers, the Spokane River system, and streams of the independent drainages. This species lives in a variety of habitats, but normally prefers the shallow, cool and slower moving waters rather that the swift riffles preferred by the longnose dace. They spawn in the spring and broadcast eggs over the gravelly bottom. Each female produces from 200 to 500 eggs. This benthic species is an omnivore, feeding on aquatic insects, plant material, and zooplankton. Speckled dace probably serve as forage fish for trout and other game species, and has been used as a bait fish in parts of its range. B. Gamett
Spottail shiner
Notropis hudsonius
Minnows
Cyprinids
Non-native
J. Schmidt
Tench
Tinca tinca
Minnows
Cyprinids
Non-native
The tench is native to streams and lakes of Europe. It was cultivated in the U.S. as early as 1883. The species was introduced into northern Idaho in the late 1880's. Currently they are found in the Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene River systems and at least one farm pond in Latah County. This species inhabits the shallow areas of lakes and slow-moving rivers where aquatic vegetation is abundant. They can tolerate poorly oxygenated waters. Very little is known about their life history in the U.S. Spawning probably occurs in shallow, weedy areas in late spring - summer. Eggs, up to 250,000 per female, sink and stick to the bottom substrate or aquatic vegetation. The species is omnivorous, feeding on plant material and aquatic invertebrates. Individuals up to 15 inches in length have been recorded from Idaho. Tench are valued in Europe by some anglers, others consider it a food fish, and it has use in pond cultures, both as food and as an ornamental fish. It apparently has none of these values in the U.S. and is generally ignored.
Tui chub
Gila bicolor
Minnows
Cyprinids
Non-native
The Tui chub is a western minnow found in the Columbia, Klamath, and Sacramento Rivers, and in several other interior river basins of CA, NV, OR and WN. In Idaho, this species, probably introduced, was found in Indian Creek, Canyon Co. It recently was taken from Lucky Peak Reservoir (Boise River). This chub is a schooling species inhabiting shallow weedy areas of lakes or quiet waters of slow-moving streams. Spawning occurs in late spring/early summer. Eggs are scattered in shallow water and adhere to the bottom substrate, especially leaves of aquatic plants. Females produce 5,000 to 10,000 eggs, depending on size. This species is an omnivore, feeding on phytoplankton, a variety of aquatic invertebrates, and even fish fry. Tui chubs range in size from 8 to 12 inches in length. In some parts of their range, this species can become overpopulated to the detriment of game fish populations. They are reported to serve as prey for larger predaceous fishes.
Utah chub
Gila atraria
Minnows
Cyprinids
Native
The Utah chub is a minnow native to the ancient Bonneville basin of UT, ID, WY, and NV, and to the Snake River drainage above Shoshone Falls and the lower Wood River system. It recently has been reported near Boise in the Snake River below Shoshone Falls. This species occurs in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers, often associated with dense vegetation. Spawning occurs in late spring/early summer and eggs are scattered over various substrates in shallow water. Each female produces about 40,000 eggs. Utah chubs in Idaho typically reach a size of 7 to 10 inches in length. This species is an omnivore, feeding on aquatic plants, zooplankton, insects and crustaceans. Although the young may be forage for predaceous fishes, it is considered a nuisance species in Idaho. Attempts have been made to eradicate the species from important trout waters, but total kill is nearly impossible and populations rebound quickly after these attempts.
Walleye
Sander vitreus
Perches
Perchids
Non-native
Walleye are native to eastern and north-central North America. They typically spawn in spring or early summer over cobble and gravel shoals in lakes or rivers. Walleyes first spawn between the ages of 2 and 6 and can live to ages of 20 years. These fish can inhabit both rivers and lakes and tolerate cool to warm water temperatures. Adult walleye are highly piscivorous (they eat other fish) and can reach weights in excess of 20 pounds, but fish in the 1 to 3 pound range are far more common.
Yellow perch
Perca flavescens
Perches
Perchids
Non-native
Yellow Perch are native to eastern and north-central North America. Yellow perch typically spawn in shallow, vegetated areas in early spring. The maximum size of yellow perch is about 12 inches in Idaho and they can live to be 9 or 10 years of age. Yellow perch are a popular fish with anglers because they are readily caught with a variety of gears and methods, are often found in large schools, and are very good eating. They can tolerate cool and warm water temperatures. In some systems perch provide both fishing opportunity for anglers and food for other larger fish species such as walleye. However in pond and lake systems perch may overpopulate and stunt (stop growing at small sizes) due to competition for food and space.
Muskellunge
Esox masquinongy
Pikes
Esocids
Northern pike
Esox lucius
Pikes
Esocids
Non-native
Northern pike are aggressive, highly piscivorous (fish eating) predators native to north central and northeastern North America. Northern pike were illegally introduced into Idaho in the early 1970's. Originally planted in the "chain lakes" of the Coeur d'Alene River drainage, they rapidly spread throughout the system. The newly created fishery was instantly popular with many anglers, primarily because of the size of the fish. Northern pike growth during the initial population expansion was among the fastest ever recorded, with fish over 20 pounds being common. The current state record, caught in 1992, is 38 pounds, 9 ounces. Northern pike have since been illegally transplanted to several other lakes in the Idaho panhandle. Although popular with some anglers, northern pike have tremendous potential to devastate native fish populations, particularly cutthroat trout. IDFG
Tiger muskie
Esox lucius x E. masquinongy
Pikes
Esocids
Non-native
Tiger muskies are not actually a species of fish, but a hybrid created by crossing a male northern pike with a female muskellunge. The cross-breeding makes tiger muskies sterile (unable to reproduce). For this reason, tiger muskies have been used throughout the country to meet demands for large, aggressive sport fish, without the risks of permanently introducing an uncontrollable predator. They are stocked in several lakes throughout Idaho, most notably Hauser Lake in Kootenai County, where the state record has been set several times since 1994 and currently stands at 34 pounds, 8 ounces. IDFG
Bear Lake sculpin
Cottus extensus
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The Bear Lake sculpin restricted to (endemic to) Bear Lake, ID/UT. It lives in association with the bottom, from the shallows to a depth of over 50 meters. Spawning occurs in the spring around rocks near shore. Females deposit eggs on the undersides of rocks. After spawning, the fish move to deeper water, up to 175 feet. The food of this species probably is similar to that of other sculpins. Adults attain a size of about 3 to 4 inches. This species is very important prey for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout, and Bonneville whitefish in Bear Lake.
Mottled sculpin
Cottus bairdii
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The mottled sculpin has a discontinuous distribution throughout much of North America. In the west, it is found in the upper Columbia, Missouri and Colorado drainages. It also is found in the Bonneville and Harney basins. In Idaho, it is found in the Snake River and tributaries above Shoshone Falls, the Bear River basin, and the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers and some of their tributaries. They prefer cool, clear streams with moderate to rapid current and are associated with rubble, gravel, or rocky bottoms. They seldom are found in silted areas. This species spawns in the spring. Females deposit adhesive eggs in a crevice or under rocks in clusters of 20 to 150. The male guides her to the nest area and guards the nest after she leaves the area. The female produces from about 50 to 300 eggs, depending on her size. They feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates, mostly insects, but also may include shrimp, snails, fish eggs and fish fry. The species is large by freshwater sculpin standards, reaching a length of 5 inches. They were thought to be serious predators on trout eggs and fry, but results of studies on their food habits have revealed that few trout eggs or fry are actually eaten. Mottled sculpins are much more important as forage for trout.
Paiute sculpin
Cottus beldingii
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The Paiute sculpin occurs in the Lahontan and Bonneville basins and the Columbia River drainage, including the Snake River. It also occurs in the upper Colorado River drainage. In Idaho, this species is found in the Clearwater drainage, the Snake River above Shoshone Falls, the Bear River system, and the Big Lost River system. This species inhabits streams with slight to moderate current and is found in riffle areas among rubble or large gravel. It also occurs in lakes. Nothing is known of the life history of this species in Idaho, but in Lake Tahoe Paiute sculpins spawn in the spring. Eggs are laid in clusters on the undersides of rocks and are guarded by the male. Females produce from 20 to about eggs. Their food consists of a variety of aquatic invertebrates. They may reach 5 inches in length, but most adults are 2.5 to 4 inches long. This sculpin is an important prey item for some species of trout and char. B. Gamett
Shorthead sculpin
Cottus confusus
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The shorthead sculpin is native to the Columbia River system and the freshwater drainages of Puget Sound in WN. In Idaho, this species is found in most of the tributaries of the Snake River below Shoshone Falls, including the independent drainages of the upper Snake River basin. It also is widespread in the St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene River systems. This species inhabits cold, clear riffles of streams, although some individuals occassionally inhabit the slow-moving water along shoreline and backwaters. In general, it is found at higher elevations than most other sculpins. Spawning occurs in the spring, probably in the same manner as other freshwater sculpins. Each female produces from 40 to 220 eggs. Their food is probably the same as other sculpins, because all species have a benthic mode of life. Adult shorthead sculpins are about 2.5 to 4 inches in length. This species probably serves as forage for trout. B. Gamett
Shoshone sculpin
Cottus greenei
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The Shoshone sculpin is restricted in distribution (endemic) to the springs and spring creeks in the Hagerman Valley and to Blue Hearts springs in the Snake River. This species has been collected from 25 springs/streams in the Hagerman area. Shoshone sculpin are most common in the slower moving waters of these spring/stream systems. Smaller Shoshone sculpin are found in areas with considerable aquatic vegetation. Spawning probably occurs in the spring, but in at least one spring system the spawning season may last from late winter to mid-summer. Females produce about 20 to 120 eggs depending on their size. Shoshone sculpin feed primarily on aquatic benthic insects and small crustaceans. This is a small species, seldom reaching more than 3 inches in length. The Shoshone sculpin is considered rare by AFS because of its very restricted natural distribution.
Slimy sculpin
Cottus cognatus Richardson
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The slimy sculpin is a wide-ranging species found in Siberia, and in North America from Alaska to WN, across Canada and in the eastern U.S. In Idaho, this species is found in the Kootenai and Pend Oreille drainages, and in the Little Salmon River. Generally this species is found in riffle areas among rocks of cold, clear streams, but it can be found along gravel beaches of lakes. This species spawns in the spring. Females lay eggs under rocks and are guarded by males, as in other sculpins. They feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates. They may attain lengths of 4 inches or slightly more, but most adults are 2 to 3 inches in length. This species is small and is eaten by trouts, northern pike, and burbot.
Torrent sculpin
Cottus rhotheus
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The torrent sculpin is native to the Columbia and Fraser Rivers and tributaries in British Columbia, WA, OR, ID, and northwestern MT. It also is found in coastal drainages from Puget Sound to the central OR coast. In Idaho, this species is common in the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Palouse, and Clearwater Rivers. It also has taken from Warm Lake Creek (SF Salmon) and the main Salmon River. Its habitat typically is the middle reaches of streams in swift, cool water with a stable substrate of gravel, rubble, or boulders. It also occurs in lakes. This species spawns in the spring in the same manner as other sculpins. Females produce from about 100 to 350 eggs, depending on their size. Food includes a variety of aquatic invertebrates, small fish and fish eggs. This is a large sculpin, reaching a length of 6 inches or more. Torrent sculpins probably serve as a forage fish for trout and chars.
Wood River sculpin
Cottus leiopomus
Sculpins
Cottids
Native
The Wood River sculpin is restricted to the upper Little Wood River and tributaries, and the Big Wood River and tributaries upstream from Magic Reservoir, Blaine Co. It occurs mainly in small to medium- sized streams with cool, clear waters and swift current. No studies have been conducted on the biology of this species, but probably it is similar to other sculpins. This species is an Idaho endemic. It is considered a species of special concern because of its restricted distribution. Any land management practices that degrade the aquatic habitat and water quality are threats to this species.
White sturgeon
Acipenser transmontanus
Sturgeons
Acipenserids
Native
White sturgeon are Idaho's largest fish and are the largest freshwater species in North America. The largest white sturgeon in Idaho was caught with a set line and weighed 675 pounds. Fish over 8 feet long are not uncommon. White sturgeon are extremely long-lived fish, not generally maturing for 10-20 years and potentially living over 80 years. White sturgeon inhabit large rivers throughout the northwest. Some populations are anadromous, and others spend their entire lives in freshwater. In Idaho, they are primarily found in the Snake and Kootenai rivers. The Snake River population still provides a popular sport fishery, although no harvest is permitted. The Kootenai River white sturgeon population is listed as endangered under the ESA. IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar IDFG, Dmitri Vidergar
Bluehead sucker
Catostomus discobolus
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The bluehead sucker is native to the Colorado River basin, and the ancient Lake Bonneville basin in UT, ID, and WY. In Idaho, this species occurs in the Snake River system above Shoshone Falls. It is a fluvial (flowing water) species, occurring in a variety of habitats, ranging from cold, clear trout streams to warm, vary turbid waters. It prefers riffle areas with rocky substrates. Little is known about the life history or biology of this species. They spawn in late spring/early summer and probably scrapes its food off rocks. Although this sucker may reach 16 inches in length, Idaho specimens generally are not more than 11 to 12 inches. They are relatively rare in Idaho waters. Utah DWR
Bridgelip sucker
Catostomus columbianus
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The bridgelip sucker is a northwest species found in the Fraser River system of British Columbia and the Columbia River system in WN, OR, ID, and NV. In Idaho, the species is common in the Snake River system below Shoshone Falls, and the Spokane drainage. Its habitat includes colder water of rivers and streams, in moderate to slack current areas where the bottom is composed of sand and silt. It is seldom found in lakes. Little is known about the life history of this species. They spawn in the spring in British Columbia. Their food habits are not known. The flattened mouth and sharp-edged lower jaw suggest that they scrape algae from rocks. Like most suckers, they probably ingest some small, benthic invertebrates as they feed. Although a maximum size of 15 inches has been reported, most Idaho specimens are less about 10 inches in length. In some localities, the flesh from this species is used as cut bait. Sherman Sprague Sherman Sprague
Largescale sucker
Catostomus macrocheilus
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The largescale sucker is native to the Pacific Northwest, occurring from British Columbia south to Oregon. It is widespread in the Columbia River system. In Idaho, this species is found in the Snake River drainage below Shoshone Falls, and the Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Kootenai River systems. It occurs in the slower-moving portions of rivers and streams, and in lakes. Largescale suckers spawn in the spring in shallow water over sandy areas of streams or the sandy or small gravel shoals of lakes. Females may produce up to 20,000 adhesive eggs. The young feed upon small zooplankton until they become bottom dwellers. Then they feed on benthic aquatic invertebrates, diatoms, and other plant material. This species reaches a length of 24 inches and 7 pounds in parts of their range, but in Idaho most are less that 16 inches in length. The young probably serve as forage for larger predaceous fishes and fish-eating birds. J. Trainer
Longnose sucker
Catostomus catostomus
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The longnose sucker is widely distributed from Siberia and Alaska across Canada and the northern U.S. In Idaho, it is found in the Kootenai, Pend Oreille, and Coeur d'Alene River systems. It is found in cold-water lakes and streams. The young may inhabit shallow weedy areas, but older fish generally are found in deeper water. Spawning occurs in riffle areas of streams. Females produce 14,000 to 60,000 eggs. Young fish apparently feed to a great extent on plant material. Older fish take mainly a variety of benthic invertebrates. Individuals may reach 25 inches and 7 pounds in parts of their range, but in Idaho they seldom are larger than 12 to 14 inches and 3 pounds. In some areas of its range, this species is fished commercially for human consumption. Because of its restricted range and the greater abundance of more desirable game fish, in Idaho this species is not used as a food fish.
Mountain sucker
Catostomus platyrhynchus
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The mountain sucker is found throughout the mountainous regions of the west from the Lahontan and Bonneville basins of CA, NV, and UT through the Columbia and Missouri drainages of British Columbia, WN, ID, MT, and WY. It is widespread throughout the Snake and Bear River systems in Idaho. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, but usually prefers cool, clear streams with clean rubble or sand bottoms. It is occassionally found in lakes. Spawning occurs in late spring/early summer in riffles of clear, swift streams. Females produce from 600 to about 3,000 eggs, depending on their size. This is a small sucker, seldom growing larger than 8 inches. The food of this species is almost entirely algae that is scraped off rocks by the cartilaginous sheath on the jaws. Mountain suckers may be forage for trout, and thus, an important link in the food chain from plants to predaceous fishes.
Utah sucker
Catostomous ardens
Suckers
Catostomids
Native
The Utah sucker is native to the old Bonneville basin of UT, ID, WY, and NV. In Idaho, the species is found in the Snake River system above Shoshone Falls, the Bear River drainage, and the independent drainages. It is an adaptable species living in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and creeks with slow to moderate current at a variety of temperatures. They spawn in the spring and females deposit eggs over gravel and sand. Males then stir the substrate with violent movements of their tails, thereby partially burying the eggs. They are bottom feeders, taking both plant material and benthic organisms. They often graze on filamentous algae attached to rocks. This species reaches 15 to 20 inches in length and 4 - 5 pounds or more in some localities. They were used as food by early settlers in the Bear River area, but are seldom used for that purpose today.
Black crappie
Pomoxis nigromaculatus
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
Black crappie are native to the fresh, and some times brackish, waters of eastern and central North America. Black crappie have been widely introduced across the US. It typically reaches lengths of 8 to 10 inches, but in some Idaho waters, these fish can reach 14 inches. This member of the sunfish family is highly prized for its tasty white flesh and is readily caught with bait tipped jigs. Juvenile black crappie feed on plankton crustaceans while adults eat small fish and aquatic insects. White crappie typically spawn in late spring to early summer and unlike trout and salmon, the male prepares the nest for the eggs. Black crappie are usually found in the warm quite waters of lakes, ponds, and rivers. These fish typically first reproduce between age-2 and 4 and can live as long as 10 years.
Bluegill
Lepomis macrochirus
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
Bluegill, an introduced sunfish, are often confused with their smaller, more colorful relatives, pumpkinseeds. The two are easily distinguished by the lack of a colorful red/orange tip on the dark opercular flap of bluegills. Also, bluegill generally attain larger sizes than their smaller cousins and are often 7-9 inches. The state record is 3 ? pounds. Bluegill can be found in the weedy shoreline areas of lakes where they feed primarily on insects, amphipods, and some plant material. Because of their aggressive nature, strong fighting ability, and excellent taste, bluegill are popular with many classes of anglers ranging from avid flyfishers to small children with bobbers and worms. Sherman Sprague
Green sunfish
Lepomis cyanellus
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
These small sunfish are found in a small number of lakes in Idaho and were likely introduced inadvertently with other sunfish species (bass, pumpkinseeds) many decades ago. The species is native to east central North America. Green sunfish are slightly more elongate and not as deep bodied as their close relatives, bluegills and pumpkinseeds. They have a black opercular (gill cover) flap lined with red or orange, and are an attractive fish, particularly during spawning. Green sunfish are of little importance to Idaho fisheries, as they are too small to attract significant angling interest. The state record is 7 ? inches and a mere 5 ounces.
Largemouth bass
Micropterus salmoides
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
Largemouth bass are native to the freshwaters of the lower Great Lakes, the central part of the Mississippi River system south to the Gulf Coast and then eastward to the Atlantic Coast. Largemouth bass are a valued sportfish and have been introduced around the US and the world. In Idaho, largemouth bass typically reach lengths of 12 to 15 inches. In the southern and western portions of the US, these fish can reach lengths of over 30 inches and weights in excess of 20 pounds. Largemouth bass are largely piscivorous as adults (they eat other fish) and for this reason, they can have negative impacts on native fish species. Largemouth bass can be distinguished from smallmouth bass by looking at the upper jaw. The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends beyond the back edge of the eye. It does not on smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass can be found in warm lakes and slow moving rivers and typically spawn in late spring to early summer. Unlike trout and salmon, the male prepares the nest for the eggs in emergent vegetation and attracts the female to his nest. These fish can reproduce as young as three years of age and live as long as 15 years.
Pumpkinseed
Lepomis gibbosus
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
Pumpkinseed sunfish are native to the waters of eastern North America, but they have been widely introduced across the US and Canada. The maximum size of these sunfish appears to be about 10 inches, with most being considerably smaller. Pumpkinseeds are usually found in small lakes and ponds, or in shallow weedy bays of larger lakes. Spawning usually takes place in late spring or early summer in shallow near shore areas. Although these fish are usually relatively small, their aggressive nature makes them an excellent ?beginner fish? for young anglers.
Smallmouth bass
Micropterus dolomieu
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
Smallmouth bass are native to the freshwaters of eastern central North America. Smallmouth bass are a valued sportfish and have been introduced around the US and the world. In Idaho, smallmouth bass typically reach lengths of 10 to 15 inches. In the southern and portions of the US, these fish can reach lengths in excess of 20 inches and weights in excess of 10 pounds. Smallmouth bass are largely piscivorous as adults (they eat other fish) and for this reason, they can have negative impacts on native fish species. Smallmouth bass can be distinguished from largemouth bass by looking at the upper jaw. The upper jaw of a smallmouth bass does not extend beyond the back edge of the eye. It does on largmouth bass. Smallmouth bass can be found in cool lakes and slow moving rivers and typically spawn in late spring to early summer. Unlike trout and salmon, the male prepares the nest for the eggs over the sandy or rocky bottom of a lake or river and attracts the female to his nest. The male will guard the nest and young after they hatch. These fish can reproduce as young as three years of age and live as long as 15 years. K. Schmidt
White crappie
Pomoxis annularis
Sunfishes
Centrarchids
Non-native
White crappie are native to the freshwaters of east central North America, but this fish has been introduced across the US. It typically reaches lengths of 8 to 10 inches and weighs less than a pound. This member of the sunfish family is highly prized for its tasty white flesh and is readily caught with bait tipped jigs. Juvenile white crappie feed on plankton crustaceans while adults eat small fish and aquatic insects. White crappie can be found in warm ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers. They typically spawn in late spring to early summer and unlike trout and salmon, the male prepares the nest for the eggs over a variety of bottom types. These fish typically first reproduce at age-2 to 4 and can live as long as 10 years. D. Megargle
Sand roller
Percopsis transmontana
Troutperches
Percopsids
Native
The sand roller, one of two species in the family, is found in the Columbia River system and some tributaries from the middle Columbia River in Washington downstream to within 40 km above the mouth. This species was recorded from the Clearwater River in Idaho in 1952. It was collected from the fish ladder at the old WWP dam near Lewiston and above the dam to the mouth of Hatwai Creek. The habitat typically is slow moving portions of streams and rivers with a mud-sand bottom often near undercut banks, although it has been found over a rubble substrate with considerable aquatic vegetation. Little is known about the life history of this species, but apparently its food consists of aquatic invertebrates. It is a small species, reaching 3 - 4 inches in total length. The species probably is uncommon to rare throughout its range. Repeated attempts to collect sand rollers from the Clearwater River and lower tributaries have failed and none have been reported since the removal of the WWP dam in 1973. This species may well have disappeared from Idaho waters.
Oriental weatherfish
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
Weatherfish
Cobitidae
Non-native
The Chinese loach is an exotic, aquarium species that has established itself in the lower Boise and Payette rivers and associated irrigation ditches. They were introduced by people getting rid of their pets in local water ways. It has several common names including: Chinese weatherfish, Chinese loach, or dojo loach. There are two species distributed as weatherfish, but this one is most likely Misgurnus anguillicaudatus. They can survive the area winters and have been reproducing in Idaho for some time. These fish can survive over the winter in de-watered ditches by burying into the mud, and emerging again the following spring after the water is turned back on. Their effect (if any) on native Idaho fishes is currently unknown. The species is native to eastern Asia and is omnivorous. They prefer still water or slow flowing streams with mud substrates. The origin of the name weatherfish is due to their habit of responding to changes in barometric pressure by becoming very active and swimming in rapid circles just before major weather changes. R. Manwaring R. Manwaring