Field Guide

Fishes

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Alabama shad side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Alosa alabamae
Description
The Alabama shad is uncommon in Missouri. It spends most of its adult life in the sea and enters freshwater streams to spawn. Missouri may have the last spawning populations that occur in the Mississippi River system.
Media
Flathead chub side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Platygobio gracilis
Description
The flathead chub is a slender, silvery minnow with small eyes, sickle-shaped pectoral fins, and wedge-shaped head with a pointed snout. Native to Missouri's big rivers and their tributaries, it is now state endangered.
Media
Gizzard shad side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dorosoma cepedianum
Description
The gizzard shad is one of the most common and abundant fish in Missouri. In Missouri, this schooling fish occurs in every major stream system and is most abundant in reservoirs and large rivers.
Media
Goldeye side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hiodon alosoides
Description
Goldeyes are silvery, flat-sided fishes with large eyes and prominent teeth on the jaws, roof of the mouth, and tongue. A fleshy keel runs along the midline of the belly. The iris of the goldeye is golden.
Media
Goldfish side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Carassius auratus
Description
Goldfish are not native to North America. They often escape into the wild from bait buckets and other causes, but there are few self-sustaining populations in Missouri.
Media
Highfin carpsucker breeding male side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Carpiodes velifer
Description
The highfin carpsucker is named for the remarkably long first principal ray of its dorsal fin. It is rare in Missouri and is a Species of Conservation Concern.
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
Mooneye side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hiodon tergisus
Description
Mooneyes are silvery, flat-sided fishes with large eyes and prominent teeth on the jaws, roof of the mouth, and tongue. A fleshy keel runs along the midline of the belly. The eye is silvery and larger than the goldeye’s.
Media
Quillback side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Carpiodes cyprinus
Description
Like our other carpsuckers, the quillback has a deep, rather thick body and a long, sickle-shaped dorsal fin. This silvery, hump-backed fish is widely distributed in Missouri.
Media
Shorthead redhorse side view photo with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Moxostoma macrolepidotum
Description
The shorthead redhorse is the most widely distributed redhorse sucker in Missouri, occurring nearly statewide. No other Missouri redhorse is as adaptable in its habitat requirements. Many specimens have a pea-shaped swelling on the upper lip.
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.