Freshwater Fish Guide

Native Fish Species

Rainbow Trout: A popular game fish known for its vibrant pink stripe along its sides, spotted body, and adaptability to various habitats.

Redband Trout: A subspecies of rainbow trout native to the Pacific Northwest, characterized by their distinctive red or pink band along the lateral line.

Coastal Cutthroat Trout: Found in freshwater and saltwater environments along the Pacific coast, these trout have distinctive red or orange slashes under their jaws.

Westslope Cutthroat Trout: A freshwater species native to the cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean basin, known for the cutthroat mark under their jaws.

Chinook Salmon (King, Blackmouth): The largest Pacific salmon species, prized for its size and rich flavor. Known as "King" salmon for its size and "Blackmouth" for the dark coloration inside the mouth.

Coho Salmon (Silver): Medium-sized salmon with silver sides and dark blue backs, known for aggressive behavior and popularity in sport fishing.

Kokanee/Sockeye Spawning Colors: Kokanee, the freshwater form of sockeye salmon, display bright red bodies and green heads during spawning.

Kokanee/Sockeye Pre-Spawning Colors: Before spawning, they have a bluish-back and silver sides, resembling typical salmonid colors.

Steelhead: The anadromous (sea-run) form of rainbow trout, returning to freshwater to spawn, known for their resilience and strength.

Bull Trout (Resident): A char species found in cold, clear waters, requiring specific habitat conditions. They have light spots on a darker background.

Northern Pikeminnow: A native species to the Pacific Northwest, known for its predatory behavior on salmon and trout juveniles.

Bull Trout (Migratory): Similar to resident bull trout but undertake significant migrations from rivers to lakes or oceans.

White Sturgeon: The largest freshwater fish in North America, known for its prehistoric appearance, with a long, slender body and armor-like plates.

Green Sturgeon: A bottom-dwelling fish similar to the white sturgeon but distinguished by its olive-green color.

Introduced Fish Species

Largemouth Bass: A popular game fish known for its large mouth extending beyond the eyes and aggressive feeding habits.

Smallmouth Bass: Prefers cooler waters than its largemouth cousin, with a smaller mouth and a preference for rocky habitats.

Yellow Perch: A small, schooling fish with distinctive vertical stripes and a deep yellow color.

Walleye: Valued for its taste, the walleye has a unique eye shine caused by reflective pigment, aiding its vision in low light.

American Shad: An anadromous fish introduced to the West Coast, known for its significant runs up rivers to spawn.

Striped Bass: Another anadromous species, introduced to various waters, prized for sport fishing due to its size and fight.

Black Bullhead: A species of catfish that is adaptable to various environments, recognized by its dark color and rounded tail.

Channel Catfish: Widely introduced for sport and food, this catfish species is known for its size potential and whisker-like barbels.

Brook Trout: Technically a char, introduced widely for angling, with distinctive markings and a preference for cold, clear streams.

Brown Trout: Introduced from Europe, this trout species has adapted to a variety of habitats and is known for its wariness and difficulty to catch.

Lake Trout: A large, cold-water char species introduced to various lakes, where it often becomes top predator.

Atlantic Salmon: Introduced for aquaculture and sport fishing, known for its ocean migrations and spawning in freshwater.

Black Crappie: Popular for sport fishing, this panfish is known for its speckled pattern and preference for still or slow-moving waters.

Redear Sunfish: Distinguished by the red or orange edge on its gill cover, introduced to many habitats for sport fishing.

Bluegill: A widely introduced sunfish, known for its bright blue gill flaps and tendency to form large schools.

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