Fish of New York State
|Common Name: Freshwater Drum
Scientific Name: Aplodinotus grunniens
Description: The freshwater drum is the only member of the drum family that lives in freshwater. The average size of the freshwater drum is about 15 inches.
Habitat: Freshwater drum are mainly found in Lake Erie, along the Lake Ontario plain, in the outlet north of Cayuga Lake, in the tributaries of the St. Lawrence River, and in several locations north of Albany.
Reproduction: Freshwater drum spawn in spring in temperatures of about 65-75 degrees F. The eggs are broadcast over sandy shallow stretches near shore where they adhere to the bottom.
|Common Name: Longnose Gar
Scientific Name: Lepisosteus osseus
Description: Longnose gars have long jaws with the snout extending and resembling a beak. Their body shape is long and less cylindrical than most fish.
Habitat: The longnose gar is commonly found throughout New York. It is found through Cayuga Lake, Lake Ontario, and near the mouths of the larger tributaries.
Reproduction: They spawn in the spring by spreading their eggs in shallow water where they attach to vegetation. The parents do not stay to guard the young.
|Common Name: Central Mudminnow
Scientific Name: Umbra limi
Description: The Central Mudminnow is a small fish of about 3 ½ inches.
Habitat: Mudminnows are commonly found in the Allegheny system and Lake Erie .
in western New York. They are also widely distributed in the Niagara River, along the coastal plain of Lake Ontario, and in the St. Lawrence River system. It is also scattered through the Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake.
Reproduction: The central mudminnow spawns in April. Pairs of mudminnows move to shallow water where the female lays 200 to 2,000 eggs that separately stick to vegetation. The parents do not stay to guard the eggs, which hatch about one week after they are laid.
|Common Name: Temperate Bass
Scientific Name: Moronidae
Description: The temperate basses are easily distinguished by the presence of two dorsal fins.
Habitat: Temperate basses are commonly found in the fresh waters of New York.
Reproduction: Basses swim upstream freshwater streams to spawn in the springtime.
|Common Name: Threespine Stickleback
Scientific Name: Gasterosteus aculeatus
Description: Sticklebacks only grow to about 2-4 inches.
Habitat: The threespine stickleback is commonly found along the shores of Lake Ontario, in the St. Lawrence River, and on Long Island.
Reproduction: Male sticklebacks build elaborate nests about the size of golf balls. The hollow nest has a hole that acts as a door. The male guards the nest aggressively against all intruders.
|Common Name: Bowfin
Scientific Name: Amia calva
Description: Bowfin are the only survivors of an earlier primitive fish family known mostly through fossils. They have bony plates that cover the skull and one distinctive bony plate on the under-surface of the throat. This olive-colored fish also has a modified air bladder that allows it to use surface air and go into water unsuitable for most fish. Adult bowfins usually grow to about 2 feet long.
Habitat: Bowfin occur in Lake George, Lake Champlain, and in the St. Lawrence River system where it is relatively common. It is also found near the shores of Lakes Ontario, Erie, Cayuga, and Oneida.
Reproduction: When bowfin spawn in the spring, the male builds a bowl-like nest in shallow water. The male guards the eggs for several weeks.
|.||Common Name: Burbot
Scientific Name: Lota lota
Description: The Burbot is the only member of the freshwater cod family in North America. Its heavy skin is a dark olive color with chainlike black and yellow markings on the sides.
Habitat: Burbot are found in Lake Erie, the Allegheny drainage, lakes of Central New York, Lake Ontario, tributaries of the St. Lawrence River, and Oneida Lake.
Reproduction: Burbot spawn in February in cold water under the ice. No care is given to the eggs or young.
|Common Name: Rainbow Smelt
Scientific Name: Osmerus mordax
Description: The Rainbow Smelt is a small, slender, elegant fish of about 6-8 inches. Its large, silvery scales make it easier to spot on a sunny day.
Habitat: These small fish are usually found in Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, and some lakes of the Adirondacks.
Reproduction: Smelt spawn in spring when they swim upstream in large numbers. The female usually lays more than 10,000 eggs.
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