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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.

Minnows (Cyprinids)

Tui chub (Gila bicolor)


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.

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