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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.

Perches (Perchids)

Yellow perch (Perca flavescens)


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.

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