Field Guide

Fishes

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 results
Media
Southern redbelly dace male in spawning colors, side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Notropis, Cyprinella, Hybognathus, Luxilus, and others
Description
Minnows — including shiners, chubs, stonerollers, dace, and carp — are members of the minnow family, the Cyprinidae. It is the largest of all fish families, and Missouri has about 70 species.
Media
Muskellunge side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Esox masquinongy
Description
The muskellunge is long and slender, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. This big, nonnative pike is stocked in selected lakes in the Ozark region and near St. Louis.
Media
Northern pike side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Esox lucius
Description
The largest pike native to Missouri, the northern pike can be more than 4 feet long and weigh more than 40 pounds. Missouri is on the southern edge of the range of this species. Because of its rarity here, it is of little importance as a game fish.
Media
Redear sunfish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lepomis microlophus
Description
The redear sunfish is deep and slab-sided, with a small mouth, with the upper jaw not reaching past the front of the eye. In natural waters, it is confined to the southern half of Missouri, but it is widely stocked in small reservoirs and ponds.
Media
Spotted bass side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Micropterus punctulatus
Description
The spotted bass inhabits permanent-flowing waters that are warmer and slightly more turbid than those where the smallmouth bass occurs. Note the form of its stripe and the length of its jaw.
Media
White sucker side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Catostomus commersonii
Description
The white sucker has fine scales and a short dorsal fin. The lips are covered with small bumps. A small-creek fish that occurs nearly statewide, but absent from the Bootheel lowlands and the southeastern Ozarks.
See Also
Media
Photo of a three-toed amphiuma in an aquarium.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amphiuma tridactylum
Description
The three-toed amphiuma is an eel-like, completely aquatic salamander. It has very small fore- and hind limbs, each with three very small toes. In Missouri it’s found only in the Bootheel region.
Media
Photo of researcher holding a gilled siren
Species Types
Scientific Name
Siren intermedia nettingi
Description
The western lesser siren is an eel-like, aquatic salamander with external gills, small eyes, small forelimbs with four toes, and no hind limbs. In Missouri, it’s found mostly in the Bootheel and northward near the Mississippi River.

About Fishes in Missouri

Missouri has more than 200 kinds of fish, more than are found in most neighboring states. Fishes live in water, breathe with gills, and have fins instead of legs. Most are covered with scales. Most fish in Missouri “look” like fish and could never be confused with anything else. True, lampreys and eels have snakelike bodies — but they also have fins and smooth, slimy skin, which snakes do not.