Idaho AFS Logo

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.

Sunfishes (Centrarchids)

Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)


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.

Click thumbnails to enlarge