RiverRocks.png

Meet our West Fork White River's Freshwater Stream Fish

The 2020 Bureau of Water Quality Annual Fish Community Report recorded 65 species of fish found in the many streams (~250 miles!) of Delaware County, Indiana.

Please note: this page is still in-progress. Check back for more illustrations & fish facts about our colorful river dwellers!

bubbles_edited_edited_edited.png

Bluegills are known for their blue gills!

Bluegill; illustrated by Kortnie Huffman

SCROLL DOWN TO START LEARNING & USE THESE HELPFUL TERMS:

Aquatic invertebrate = animals with no backbone (worms, snails, crayfish, insect larvae)
Forage 
= to search for food
Larva
= juvenile form of an insect (caterpillar, grub)
Mouth, subterminal
= ventral mouth; turned downward
Mouth, terminal
= located in the middle of the head, points forward; jaws the same length
Opercular 
= a hard, bony flap that covers & protects the gills of a bony fish
Pollution intolerant (sensitive species)
= organisms that cannot survive in poor water quality
Pollution tolerant
= organisms that can survive in poor water quality
Riffle
shallow, fast moving sections of a stream where rocks break the water surface (adds oxygen to water)
Tubercle 
= skin nodules (lumps) made of keratin

Can't find a word you're looking for? Check out the glossary for more terms & resources.

OR, SKIP TO A FISH:

Lepomis megalotis

LONGEAR SUNFISH

Other common names: sunperch, pumpkinseed, creek perch

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Centrarchiformes (basses)
Family
= Centrarchidae (sunfishes)
Genus
= Lepomis 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 280 mm (about 11")

Lifespan = 6 years

Mouth = moderate-sized

Fins = spiny dorsal with 10 spines

Colors = blue/green sides; yellow/orange belly

Other = elongated opercular flap (a "long ear")

Diet = insects, aquatic invertebrates, small fishes

Habitat = slow moving streams, with a clear gravel bottom & dense plants

Longear sunfish; illustrated by Kortnie Huffman
bubbles.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Nocomis micropogon

RIVER CHUB

Other common names: 

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Cypriniformes (carps)
Family
= Cyprinidae (minnows)
Genus
= Nocomis

bubbles_edited_edited_edited.png
bubbles_edited_edited_edited.png

CHARACTERISTICS

Length =  up to 245mm (about 10")

Lifespan = 5 years

Mouth = large; slightly subterminal

Fins = 8 dorsal fin rays

Colors = olive green, with orange/red fins; males can be pink/purple/blue when breeding

Other = long snout; small eyes; tubercles on head

Diet = insects, aquatic invertebrates, algae, plants,

Habitat = swift small-medium sized rivers with clear, gravel or rocky bottoms; builds nests

RiverChub-noBg.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Cyprinella spiloptera

SPOTFIN SHINER

Other common names: silver-finned minnow, satin-finned minnow

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Cypriniformes (carps)
Family
= Cyprinidae (carps + minnows)
Genus
= Pogonichthyinae

bubbles_edited_edited_edited.png
Striped Shiner

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 106mm (about 4")

Lifespan = 5 years

Mouth = terminal

Fins = 8 anal fin rays

Colors = black on last 3 dorsal fins; males become gray-blue with yellow fins

Other = diamond shaped scales, outlined in black; small tubercles on head

Diet = insects, aquatic invertebrates

Habitat = small-medium rivers, with a sandy or gravel bottom

This species is pollution tolerant.

 

Etheostoma caeruleum

RAINBOW DARTER

Other common names: 

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Perciformes (perch-like)
Family
= Percidae (perches)
Genus
= Etheostomatinae

RainbowDarter-noBg.png
RainbowDarter-noBg_edited.png
bubbles_edited_edited.png
bubbles_edited_edited_edited.png

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 68mm (about 2.5")

Lifespan = 3 years

Mouth = restricted movement

Fins = straight tail; 2 dorsal fins

Colors = brown-olive green, orange-red, & blue-green; males are more colorful

Other = 8 - 13 blue-green bands on dorsal side

Diet = larvae, mayfly nymphs, fish eggs

Habitat = fast riffles in creeks, small rivers, & streams, with sandy or gravel bottom

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Percina caprodes

LOGPERCH

Other common names: common logperch, zebra fish

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Perciformes (perch-like)
Family = Percidae (perches)
Genus
= Percina

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 200mm (about 8")

Lifespan =  3 years

Mouth = subterminal

Fins = 2 dorsal fins

Colors = pale yellow/brown/green with black tiger-like pattern

Other = travel alone or in small groups; flips over stones with its snout

Diet = larvae, mayflies, caddisflies, fish eggs (flips over stones with its snout to forage)

Habitat = shallow, fast riffles in creeks, rivers, streams & reservoirs; sandy or gravel bottom

bubbles.png
Logperch-noBg.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Luxilus chrysocephalus

STRIPED SHINER

Other common names: 

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Cypriniformes (carps, minnows, loaches)
Family = Cyprinidae (minnows)
Genus
= Luxilus

bubbles_edited.png

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 130 mm (about 5")

Lifespan =  4 years

Mouth = large, terminal

Fins = milky-clear; 

Colors = silvery scales; olive green, gold; pink (males)

Other = deep-bodied; stripes

Diet = insects, aquatic invertebrates, algae, plants

Habitat = flowing streams with clean gravel or rock bottom; dense plants

StripedShiner-noBg_edited.png
bubbles_edited.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Hypentelium nigricans

NORTHERN HOG SUCKER

Other common names: hogsucker, hogmolly, hognose sucker, hog mullet, stoneroller, box head

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Cypriniformes (carps, minnows, loaches)
Family
= Catostomidae (suckers)
Genus
= Hypentelium

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 610mm (24")

Lifespan = 11 years

Mouth = tip of snout, bottom

Fins = tail is forked

Colors = olive green, brown, white; dark & light stripes

Other = square, bony head; overturns rocks with its snout

Diet = insects, larvae, aquatic invertebrates, algae

Habitat = clear, fast-flowing creeks, streams, & rivers; rocky riffles

NorthernHogsucker-noBg.png
bubbles.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Lepomis macrochirus

BLUEGILL

Other common names: blue sunfish, sunperch, copperbelly, plumb granny

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Centrarchiformes (basses)
Family
= Centrarchidae (sunfishes)
Genus
= Lepomis 

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 410mm (about 16")

Lifespan =  4 - 6 years

Mouth = small

Fins = tail slightly forked, rounded

Colors = olive green, yellow; blue & purple gills

Other = most active at dawn; black ear flap

Diet = insects, shrimp, small fishes, worms, snails, plants

Habitat = lakes; slow-moving streams with a rocky bottom

Bluegill-noBg.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

Micropterus dolomieu

SMALLMOUTH BASS

Other common names: smallmouth, black bass, brown bass, bronzeback, redeye bass

Kingdom = Animalia (animals)
Phylum
= Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum
= Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class
= Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order
= Centrarchiformes (basses)
Family
= Centrarchidae (sunfishes)
Genus
= Micropterus

CHARACTERISTICS

Length = up to 500mm (20")

Lifespan =  6 - 14 years

Mouth = large; upper jaw stops at eye

Fins = spiny dorsal with 9 - 11 spines

Colors = olive green, gold, brown; yellow-white belly

Other = 8 - 16 dark vertical stripes on side; red-brown eyes

Diet = insects, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, small fishes

Habitat = cool rivers, lakes, & reservoirs with rocky or sandy bottom; use structures (logs, rocks, piers)

SmallmouthBass-noBg.png
bubbles.png

This species is sensitive; pollution intolerant.

 

thanks for learning about our local fish!

a note from the artist + developer:

RiverRocks-fullScreen.png

happy learning! – kort

hello! this page is in-progress – our local waterways have many more freshwater stream fish left for me to paint, so keep checking back for new fish & other content to learn, create, explore, collab, & enjoy.

in the meantime, use the sources & helpful links below to study fish!