Minnesota Fishes


Ray-finned Fishes (Superclass Actinopterygii)

Actinopterygii is the superclass of ray-finned fishes. It is characterized by having a fin composed of a web of skin supported by bony or horny spines. The superclass includes almost 99% of all species of fish. There are about 30,000 Actinopterygii species worldwide, at least 162 species in Minnesota. All fish that occur in North America belong to this superclass.

Lampreys (Order Petromyzontiformes)

The taxonomy of lampreys is in dispute. Some taxonomists place lampreys in the class Cephalaspidomorphi. Most consider this taxon extinct, and place lampreys in the class Hyperoartia.

Though they look like eels, lampreys are jawless fish. They are characterized by having a toothed, funnel-like, sucking mouth.


The division of fishes into five classes, with ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) a single subclass of bony fishes (Osteichthyes) is the traditional classification, Linnaean taxonomy. Under Linnaean taxonomy, taxa are grouped into sets or classes by characteristics shared among their members. It is the scheme followed by most non-specialist sources. Under this scheme the grouping of all fish also contains tetrapods (Superclass Tetrapoda), which are not fish. In taxonomic terms, the group is paraphyletic. Most taxonomists avoid paraphyletic groups whenever possible.

A newer classification scheme, the International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature, Phylocode for short, emphasizes ancestry at the expense of descriptive characteristics. Phylocode seeks to regulate the naming of clades, with the naming of species remaining the responsibility of the rank-based Nomenclature codes (ICN, ICZN, ICNB, ICTV). The most recent Phylocode draft was released in 2019. Few reputable sources for taxonomic classification follow Phylocode. Two that do are Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). As of February, 2020, it remains uncertain whether Phylocode will ever be widely adopted.

  brook trout  

Plural of Fish

We were all taught in elementary school that the plural of moose is moose and the plural of fish is fish. That remains true – mostly.

When the word fish refers to individual organisms, like those found on ice in a grocery store, the plural of those organisms is fish. When the word refers to a taxonomic grouping, such as the species bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), the plural of those groupings is fishes.


Recent Additions

Brook trout

Brook trout is a medium-sized freshwater fish. It is native to eastern United States and southern Canada from Newfoundland west to eastern Minnesota, south to northern New Jersey and eastern Iowa, and also south along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. It is a popular sport fish and has been stocked around the world since the 1800s. It is now widely distributed and locally established across Europe, Canada, and the United States. In Minnesota it is most common in the northeast. It is found in small, spring-fed streams that are cool, no more than 66°F; well oxygenated; and clear, mostly free of siltation.

Brook trout is a medium-sized freshwater fish. It lives an average of 6 to 8 years in the wild in its native range, but has been known to survive up to 24 years in other areas. The average length at maturity is 15 to 20, though in Minnesota the average length is reported as just 8 to 10. The body is long, streamlined, and slightly compressed laterally. The mouth is large. During breeding season the male develops a hook on the lower jaw. The back is olive-green to dark brown or almost black with numerous worm-like pale spots. The sides are lighter with numerous round pale spots and smaller red spots. Each red spot has a thin bluish halo. The belly is silvery white. During spawning season the sides and fins of the male often become bright orangish-red.

  brook trout
Other Recent Additions











This list includes only fishes that have been recorded in Minnesota, but not all of the fishes found in Minnesota.


Profile Photo Video      

alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)






































brook trout


Allegheny pearl dace (Margariscus margarita)


American brook lamprey (Lampetra appendix)


American eel (Anguilla rostrata)


American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)


banded darter (Etheostoma zonale)


banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)


bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)


bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus)


bigmouth shiner (Notropis dorsalis)


black buffalo (Ictiobus niger)


black bullhead (Ameiurus melas)


black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)


black redhorse (Moxostoma duquesnei)


blackchin shiner (Notropis heterodon)


blacknose shiner (Notropis heterolepis)


blackside darter (Percina maculata)


bloater (Coregonus hoyi)


blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)


blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus)


bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)


bluntnose darter (Etheostoma chlorosoma)


bluntnose minnow (Pimephales notatus)


bowfin (Amia calva)


brassy minnow (Hybognathus hankinsoni)


brook silverside (Labidesthes sicculus)


brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans)

Profile Photo Video  

brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)


brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)


brown trout (Salmo trutta)


bullhead minnow (Pimephales vigilax)


burbot (Lota lota)


central mudminnow (Umbra limi)


central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum)


channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)


chestnut lamprey (Ichthyomyzon castaneus)


Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)


cisco (Coregonus artedi)


coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)


common carp (Cyprinus carpio)


common shiner (Luxilus cornutus)


creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus)


crystal darter (Crystallaria asprella)


deepwater sculpin (Myoxocephalus thompsoni)


eastern blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus)


emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides)


fantail darter (Etheostoma flabellare)


fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)


finescale dace (Phoxinus neogaeus)


flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris)


flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis)


fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus)


freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens)


gilt darter (Percina evides)


gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum)


golden redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum)


golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas)


goldeye (Hiodon alosoides)


goldfish (Carassius auratus)


grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)


gravel chub (Erimystax x-punctatus)


greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi)


green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)


highfin carpsucker (Carpiodes velifer)


hornyhead chub (Nocomis biguttatus)


Iowa darter (Etheostoma exile)


Johnny darter (Etheostoma nigrum)


kiyi (Coregonus kiyi)


lake chub (Couesius plumbeus)


lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)


lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)


lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)


largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)


largescale stoneroller (Campostoma oligolepis)


least darter (Etheostoma microperca)


logperch (Percina caprodes)


longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis)


longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)


longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus)


longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus)


mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus)


Mississippi silvery minnow (Hybognathus nuchalis)


mooneye (Hiodon tergisus)


mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi)


mud darter (Etheostoma asprigene)


muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)


ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)


Nipigon cisco (Coregonus nipigon)


northern brook lamprey (Ichthyomyzon fossor)


northern hogsucker (Hypentelium nigricans)


northern pearl dace (Margariscus nachtriebi)


northern pike (Esox lucius)


northern redbelly dace (Chrosomus eos)


northern sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)


orangespotted sunfish (Lepomis humilis)


Ozark minnow (Notropis nubilus)


pallid shiner (Hybopsis amnis)


pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)


pirate perch (Aphredoderus sayanus)


plains topminnow (Fundulus sciadicus)


pugnose minnow (Opsopoeodus emiliae)


pugnose shiner (Notropis anogenus)


pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)


pygmy whitefish (Prosopium coulterii)


quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus)


rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum)


rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax)


rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)


red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis)


redfin shiner (Lythrurus umbratilis)


redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus)


river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio)


river darter (Percina shumardi)


river redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum)


river shiner (Notropis blennius)


rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris)


rosyface shiner (Notropis rubellus)


round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)


round whitefish (Prosopium cylindraceum)


ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)


sand shiner (Notropis stramineus)


sauger (Sander canadense)


sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)


shorthead redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum)


shortjaw cisco (Coregonus zenithicus)


shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus)


shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus)


silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)


silver chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana)


silver lamprey (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis)


silver redhorse (Moxostoma anisurum)


skipjack herring (Alosa chrysochloris)


slender madtom (Noturus exilis)


slenderhead darter (Percina phoxocephala)


slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus)


smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)


smallmouth buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus)


southern brook lamprey (Ichthyomyzon gagei)


southern redbelly dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster)


speckled chub (Macrhybopsis aestivalis)


spoonhead sculpin (Cottus ricei)


spotfin shiner (Cyprinella spiloptera)


spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius)


spotted sucker (Minytrema melanops)


starhead topminnow (Fundulus dispar)


stonecat (Noturus flavus)


suckermouth minnow (Phenacobius mirabilis)


tadpole madtom (Noturus gyrinus)


threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)


Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka)


trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)


walleye (Sander vitreus)


warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)


weed shiner (Notropis texanus)


western blacknose dace (Rhinichthys obtusus)


western sand darter (Ammocrypta clara)


western tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris)


white bass (Morone chrysops)


white crappie (Pomoxis annularis)


white perch (Morone americana)


white sucker (Catostomus commersonii)


yellow bass (Morone mississippiensis)


yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis)


yellow perch (Perca flavescens)

Acipenser fulvescens (lake sturgeon)

Alosa chrysochloris (skipjack herring)

Alosa pseudoharengus (alewife)

Ambloplites rupestris (rock bass)

Ameiurus melas (black bullhead)

Ameiurus natalis (yellow bullhead)

Ameiurus nebulosus (brown bullhead)

Amia calva (bowfin)

Ammocrypta clara (western sand darter)

Anguilla rostrata (American eel)

Apeltes quadracus (fourspine stickleback)

Aphredoderus sayanus (pirate perch)

Aplodinotus grunniens (freshwater drum)

Campostoma anomalum (central stoneroller)

Campostoma oligolepis (largescale stoneroller)

Carassius auratus (goldfish)

Carpiodes carpio (river carpsucker)

Carpiodes cyprinus (quillback)

Carpiodes velifer (highfin carpsucker)

Catostomus catostomus (longnose sucker)

Catostomus commersonii (white sucker)

Chrosomus eos (northern redbelly dace)

Chrosomus erythrogaster (southern redbelly dace)

Clinostomus elongatus (redside dace)

Coregonus artedi (cisco)

Coregonus clupeaformis (lake whitefish)

Coregonus hoyi (bloater)

Coregonus kiyi (kiyi)

Coregonus nipigon (Nipigon cisco)

Coregonus zenithicus (shortjaw cisco)

Cottus bairdi (mottled sculpin)

Cottus cognatus (slimy sculpin)

Cottus ricei (spoonhead sculpin)

Couesius plumbeus (lake chub)

Crystallaria asprella (crystal darter)

Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp)

Culaea inconstans (brook stickleback)

Cycleptus elongatus (blue sucker)

Cyprinella lutrensis (red shiner)

Cyprinella spiloptera (spotfin shiner)

Cyprinus carpio (common carp)

Dorosoma cepedianum (gizzard shad)

Erimystax x-punctatus (gravel chub)

Esox lucius (northern pike)

Esox masquinongy (muskellunge)

Etheostoma asprigene (mud darter)

Etheostoma caeruleum (rainbow darter)

Etheostoma chlorosoma (bluntnose darter)

Etheostoma exile (Iowa darter)

Etheostoma flabellare (fantail darter)

Etheostoma microperca (least darter)

Etheostoma nigrum (Johnny darter)

Etheostoma zonale (banded darter)

Fundulus diaphanus (banded killifish)

Fundulus dispar (starhead topminnow)

Fundulus sciadicus (plains topminnow)

Gasterosteus aculeatus (threespine stickleback)

Gymnocephalus cernuus (ruffe)

Hiodon alosoides (goldeye)

Hiodon tergisus (mooneye)

Hybognathus hankinsoni (brassy minnow)

Hybognathus nuchalis (Mississippi silvery minnow)

Hybopsis amnis (pallid shiner)

Hypentelium nigricans (northern hogsucker)

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp)

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (bighead carp)

Ichthyomyzon castaneus (chestnut lamprey)

Ichthyomyzon fossor (northern brook lamprey)

Ichthyomyzon gagei (southern brook lamprey)

Ichthyomyzon unicuspis (silver lamprey)

Ictalurus furcatus (blue catfish)

Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish)

Ictiobus bubalus (smallmouth buffalo)

Ictiobus cyprinellus (bigmouth buffalo)

Ictiobus niger (black buffalo)

Labidesthes sicculus (brook silverside)

Lampetra appendix (American brook lamprey)

Lepisosteus osseus (longnose gar)

Lepisosteus platostomus (shortnose gar)

Lepomis cyanellus (green sunfish)

Lepomis gibbosus (pumpkinseed)

Lepomis gulosus (warmouth)

Lepomis humilis (orangespotted sunfish)

Lepomis macrochirus (bluegill)

Lepomis megalotis (longear sunfish)

Lepomis peltastes (northern sunfish)

Lota lota (burbot)

Luxilus cornutus (common shiner)

Lythrurus umbratilis (redfin shiner)

Macrhybopsis aestivalis (speckled chub)

Macrhybopsis storeriana (silver chub)

Margariscus margarita (Allegheny pearl dace)

Margariscus nachtriebi (northern pearl dace)

Micropterus dolomieu (smallmouth bass)

Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass)

Minytrema melanops (spotted sucker)

Morone americana (white perch)

Morone chrysops (white bass)

Morone mississippiensis (yellow bass)

Moxostoma anisurum (silver redhorse)

Moxostoma carinatum (river redhorse)

Moxostoma duquesnei (black redhorse)

Moxostoma erythrurum (golden redhorse)

Moxostoma macrolepidotum (shorthead redhorse)

Moxostoma valenciennesi (greater redhorse)

Myoxocephalus thompsoni (deepwater sculpin)

Neogobius melanostomus (round goby)

Nocomis biguttatus (hornyhead chub)

Notemigonus crysoleucas (golden shiner)

Notropis anogenus (pugnose shiner)

Notropis atherinoides (emerald shiner)

Notropis blennius (river shiner)

Notropis dorsalis (bigmouth shiner)

Notropis heterodon (blackchin shiner)

Notropis heterolepis (blacknose shiner)

Notropis hudsonius (spottail shiner)

Notropis nubilus (Ozark minnow)

Notropis rubellus (rosyface shiner)

Notropis stramineus (sand shiner)

Notropis texanus (weed shiner)

Notropis topeka (Topeka shiner)

Notropis volucellus (mimic shiner)

Noturus exilis (slender madtom)

Noturus flavus (stonecat)

Noturus gyrinus (tadpole madtom)

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (pink salmon)

Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon)

Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout)

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Chinook salmon)

Opsopoeodus emiliae (pugnose minnow)

Osmerus mordax (rainbow smelt)

Perca flavescens (yellow perch)

Percina caprodes (logperch)

Percina evides (gilt darter)

Percina maculata (blackside darter)

Percina phoxocephala (slenderhead darter)

Percina shumardi (river darter)

Percopsis omiscomaycus (trout-perch)

Petromyzon marinus (sea lamprey)

Phenacobius mirabilis (suckermouth minnow)

Phoxinus neogaeus (finescale dace)

Pimephales notatus (bluntnose minnow)

Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow)

Pimephales vigilax (bullhead minnow)

Platygobio gracilis (flathead chub)

Polyodon spathula (American paddlefish)

Pomoxis annularis (white crappie)

Pomoxis nigromaculatus (black crappie)

Prosopium coulterii (pygmy whitefish)

Prosopium cylindraceum (round whitefish)

Proterorhinus semilunaris (western tubenose goby)

Pungitius pungitius (ninespine stickleback)

Pylodictis olivaris (flathead catfish)

Rhinichthys atratulus (eastern blacknose dace)

Rhinichthys cataractae (longnose dace)

Rhinichthys obtusus (western blacknose dace)

Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon)

Salmo trutta (brown trout)

Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout)

Salvelinus namaycush (lake trout)

Sander canadense (sauger)

Sander vitreus (walleye)

Scaphirhynchus platorynchus (shovelnose sturgeon)

Semotilus atromaculatus (creek chub)

Umbra limi (central mudminnow)



No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left, or the insect does not appear in the list, you can still upload a photo or video or report a sighting for that insect. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the insect in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that insect featuring your contribution.

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