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Natural Highlights: Wolf River Fishes

  Bluegill     Bowfin

There are about 67 species of fish which are known to occur in the Wolf River from a handful of surveys on various river sections.  These species represent 13 fish families, ranging from big river fish such as drums and redhorses near the river's mouth to sensitve habitat specialists like madtoms and darters near its origin in MIssissippi. Most people are familiar only with those species considered gamefish, i.e., largemouth bass, bluegills, crappie and other members of the Sunfish Family, and the channel catfish, flathead catfish, and bullheads of the Catfish Family -  and perhaps a few exotic species now living in parts of the Wolf such as Eurasian and silver Carp.  The many small fish which are collectively referred to as  "minnows"  actually comprise 14 different Wolf River species.  The Catfish Family (Ictaluridae) includes the miniscule madtoms in addition to their much larger gamefish relatives.  The 13 fish families in Wolf River waters include oddball families represented by a single species such as the bowfin (Amiidae), the pirate perch (Aphredoderidae), the live-bearing mosquitofish (Poeciidae). Wolf River fishes are astonishlngly diverse in their life history and behavior, from the bottomfeeding northern hogsucker (Catostomidae), to the nest-building flier (Centrarchidae), to the burrowing, non-parasitic least brook lamprey (Petromyzontidae).  This diversity would likely be greatly diminished without the restoration and protection efforts undertaken by the Wolf River Conservancy and its partners over the years on behalf of the Wolf River - its water, woods, and wildlife.

  Grass Pickerel     Catfish

 

 

 

 

Posted by Cathy Justis at 7:53 PM