Basin Fish

The Upper Mississippi River Basin supports
more than 25% of freshwater fish in the United States.

Warmwater Fish

Warmwater fish thrive in summer water temperatures greater than 70 ° F.


wMicropterus salmoides 2000
Largemouth Bass

wLepomis macrochirus fall
Bluegill

common-shiner
Common Shiner



wPomoxis nigromaculatus spawn
Crappie

wIctalurus punctatus 97
Channel Catfish

wPolyodon spathula
Paddlefish



blackredhorse-chevaliernoir
Black Redhorse

hornyhead_chub
Hornyhead Chub

smallmouth_bass_05-03-12
Smallmouth Bass



Coolwater Fish

Coolwater fish thrive in summer water temperatures 65-70° F.

northern-pike
Northern Pike

wChrosomus erythrogaster male KS
Southern Redbelly Dace

wLampetra appendix
American Brook Lamprey




wSander vitreus male
Walleye

wPercina maculata ala
Blacknose Darter

topeka_shiner
Topeka Shiner


Coldwater Fish

Coldwater fish thrive in summer water temperatures less than 65° F.

wSalvelinus fontinalis female
Brook Trout

wCottus bairdii
Mottled Sculpin

T272 IM 68
Brown Trout



Habitat influences the species and numbers of fish found in a waterway.
If habitat meets a fish’s needs, it can survive there.
If it doesn’t, it won’t be found there.

Generally, streams are cooler at their headwaters, then become warmer as they widen and absorb sunlight. A larger stream typically supports more fish species if conditions permit.

Fish on this page are examples of species found in Upper Mississippi River Basin streams.
There are 127 fish species in the Basin.4

Our choices impact the web of life
FISH FACT

When sediment covers gravel streambeds, smallmouth bass can’t successfully spawn.1

FISH FACT

Fish kill due to turbidity decreased 60% when conservation tillage and stream buffers were added.2

FISH FACT

In 2006 recreational fishing generated more than $2.7 billion in the central Midwest states.3