ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Freshwater Fish of North America

Updated on August 9, 2011

North American Freshwater Fish

North America is home to hundreds of species of freshwater fish. Freshwater habitats of the continent range from frigid arctic streams to the Mexican desert, most of which support fish and other aquatic life.

bluegill sunfish
bluegill sunfish

Bass, Crappie and Sunfish

By far the most popular family of freshwater fish native to North America are the bass, crappie and sunfish.

This group of fish includes the black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and others), sunfish, crappie and several specialized species such as rock bass, warmouth, flier and others.

Sunfish, crappie and other panfish are often caught using jigs or other small lures. Minnows, crickets, worms and other live baits are also effective. Live baits are usually fished under bobbers (floats).

Many of the best lures for crappie are also effective on the other members of the sunfish family.

a chain pickerel
a chain pickerel

Pike, Pickerel and Musky

Another popular group of freshwater fish includes the muskellunge (musky), northern pike, chain pickerel, and the twin sub-species of grass and redfin pickerel.

These species are characterized by their long, slender bodies, reptile-shaped mouths and sharp teeth. All are ambush predators, eating practically anything they can swallow.

a hickory shad caught using a shad dart
a hickory shad caught using a shad dart

Shad and Herring

Several members of the shad and herring family are icons of North American freshwater fishing.

Most species of shad and herring are anadromous; adults live in saltwater environments, migrating into coastal rivers and streams in spring to spawn. After spawning, they migrate back downstream until the following season.

The most well known member of this famous family of fish is the American shad. Once one of the most abundant of all North American fish, the species has declined greatly throughout much of its range.

A smaller species, the hickory shad, is smaller but similar. Hickories are also highly prized for their fighting ability. Both American and hickory shad are protected in most fisheries, with catch and release fishing allowed but not harvests.

River herring (blueback herring and alewives) are smaller, but are found together with shad during spring spawning runs.

Shad and herring are usually caught using traditional jigs called "shad darts" or with other small, flashy jigs, spoons or flies.

Favorite Fish

What is your favorite species of North American freshwater fish?

See results

Salmon, Trout and Char

Salmon, trout and char are among the most popular freshwater fish in North America. Many of these fish are anadromous; they are born in freshwater streams, eventually migrating to sea until returning to freshwater to spawn.

Most species of Pacific salmon are native to the Pacific Rim from Alaska to California. Freshwater salmon exist in the Great Lakes and a few other northern lakes, including non-native Chinook, coho and pinks. Landlocked Atlantic salmon also exist in the Great Lakes and other northeast lakes, supported by stocking programs.

Across North America, trout are found in cool water streams and lakes. Some species such as rainbow, brook and cutthroat are native to the continent, while others, such as brown trout were introduced from Europe.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)