Freshwater Fishes of Washington

This list includes all species of fishes occurring regularly in fresh water in Washington. Asterisked species are introduced from elsewhere in North America (*) or Eurasia (**). The list is from Wydoski, R. S., and R. R. Whitney. 2003. Inland fishes of Washington, Second Edition. Univ. Washington Press, Seattle. "Anadromous" indicates a marine species that ascends rivers and/or streams to spawn.

Order Petromyzontiformes

Petromyzontidae: Lampreys
Lampetra tridentata, Pacific Lamprey. Anadromous, coast and Columbia R. drainages.

Lampetra ayresi, River Lamprey. Anadromous, coastal rivers and Lower Columbia R.

Lampetra richardsoni, Western Brook Lamprey. Coastal streams, inland to Yakima R.; nonparasitic.

 

Order Acipenseriformes

Acipenseridae: Sturgeons
Acipenser medirostris, Green Sturgeon. Marine, enters coastal rivers.

Acipenser transmontanus, White Sturgeon. Anadromous, coastal rivers and L. Washington.

 

Order Clupeiformes

Clupeidae: Herrings
Alosa sapidissima, American Shad*. Anadromous, Columbia, Snake, Chehalis, and Willapa R. drainages.

Salmonidae: Trouts, Whitefish
Coregonus clupeaformis, Lake Whitefish*. Lakes of the Columbia R system in northeast Washington.

Prosopium coulteri, Pygmy Whitefish. Present in a few lakes across state; formerly more widespread.

Prosopium williamsoni, Mountain Whitefish. Widespread, large streams and lakes.

Oncorhynchus aguabonita, Golden Trout. Introduced from California into small high mountain lakes of the Skykomish R system.

Oncorhynchus clarki, Cutthroat Trout. Anadromous west of Cascades; resident populations NE; introduced widely elsewhere.

Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, Pink Salmon. Anadromous, coast and Puget Sound drainages.

Oncorhynchus keta, Chum Salmon. Anadromous, coast and Puget Sound drainages.

Oncorhynchus kisutch, Coho Salmon. Anadromous in coast, Puget Sound and Columbia R. drainages.

Oncorhynchus mykiss, Rainbow Trout (Steelhead). Freshwater and anadromous, widespread.

Oncorhynchus nerka, Sockeye Salmon. Anadromous, coast, Puget Sound and Columbia R. drainages; landlocked populations ("kokanee") introduced widely.

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Chinook Salmon. Anadromous, coast, Puget Sound and Columbia R.

Salmo salar, Atlantic Salmon*. Many escape from fish-farming pens in both salt and fresh water, may become established.

Salmo trutta, Brown Trout**. Columbia R. and few lakes east of Cascades.

Salvelinus confluentus, Bull Trout. Widespread, streams and lakes.

Salvelinus malma, Dolly Varden. Mostly anadromous, NW coast.

Salvelinus fontinalis, Brook Trout*. Widespread, streams and lakes in mountains and NE.

Salvelinus namaycush, Lake Trout*. Few lakes, NE and Snohomish Co.

Thymallus arcticus, Arctic Grayling*. A single mountain lake.

Osmeridae: Smelts
Spirinchus thaleichthys, Longfin Smelt. Anadromous, Puget Sound drainage and L. Washington.

Thaleichthys pacificus, Eulachon. Anadromous, coast and lower Columbia R. drainages.

Umbridae: Mudminnows
Novumbra hubbsi, Olympic Mudminnow. Quinault to Chehalis R. drainages; introduced populations north to King Co.

Esocidae: Pickerels
Esox americanus, Grass Pickerel*. Few lakes E.

Esox lucius, Northern Pike*. Idaho populations have reached Spokane R.

Esox lucius x Esox masquinongy, Tiger Muskellunge*. Widely stocked in lakes.

 

Order Cypriniformes

Cyprinidae: Minnows
Acrocheilus alutaceus, Chiselmouth. Rivers E of Cascades.

Carassius auratus, Goldfish**. Established in lakes and scattered private ponds across state.

Couesius plumbeus, Lake Chub. Lakes and streams, NE part.

Ctenopharyngodon idella, Grass Carp**. Widely stocked in ponds and lakes.

Cyprinus carpio, Common Carp**. Widespread in lakes and slow rivers.

Gila bicolor, Tui Chub. Lakes, ponds, and slow streams of Lower Crab Creek drainage, Columbia Basin.

Mylocheilus caurinus, Peamouth. Widespread in lakes and streams.

Notemigonus crysoleucas, Golden Shiner*. Established in single lakes in Whatcom and Kitsap counties.

Pimephales promelas, Fathead Minnow*. Established locally across state.

Ptychocheilus oregonensis, Northern Pikeminnow. Widespread in slow streams, rivers, and lakes.

Rhinichthys cataractae, Longnose Dace. Widespread in swift streams.

Rhinichthys falcatus, Leopard Dace. Slow streams of upper Columbia R. drainage.

Rhinichthys umatilla, Umatilla Dace. Rivers of upper Columbia R. drainage.

Rhinichthys osculus, Speckled Dace. Widespread in streams.

Richardsonius balteatus, Redside Shiner. Widespread in streams and lakes.

Tinca tinca, Tench**. Local in lakes and ponds, Columbia and Spokane R. drainages and L. Washington.

Catostomidae: Suckers
Catostomus catostomus, Longnose Sucker. Rivers and lakes east of Cascades.

Catostomus catostomus, Salish Sucker. Rivers and streams in Puget Sound drainage; distinct but not formally named.

Catostomus columbianus, Bridgelip Sucker. Slow rivers of Columbia R. drainage.

Catostomus macrocheilus, Largescale Sucker. Widespread in lakes and streams.

Catostomus platyrhynchus, Mountain Sucker. Mountain streams of Columbia R. drainage.

Cobitidae: Loaches
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, Oriental Weatherfish**. Established in L. Washington.

Ictaluridae: Catfishes
Ameiurus melas, Black Bullhead*. Scattered lakes and ponds in Columbia R. drainage.

Ameiurus natalis, Yellow Bullhead*. Scattered lakes and ponds in Columbia R. drainage.

Ameiurus nebulosus, Brown Bullhead*. Widespread, lakes and ponds.

Ictalurus punctatus, Channel Catfish*. Lakes and streams of Columbia R. drainage, few in Puget Sound drainage.

Noturus gyrinus, Tadpole Madtom*. Local, Snake R. drainage east of Cascades.

Pylodictis olivaris, Flathead Catfish*. Local, Columbia R. and tributaries.

 

Order Cyprinodontiformes

Cyprinodontidae: Killifishes
Fundulus diaphanus, Banded Killifish. Ponds and lakes, lower Columbia R.

Poeciliidae: Livebearers
Gambusia affinis, Mosquitofish. Ponds and slow rivers in lower Columbia R. drainage, probably scattered elsewhere.

 

Order Gadiformes

Gadidae: Cods
Lota lota, Burbot. Deep lakes, Columbia R. drainage.

 

Order Gasterosteiformes

Gasterosteidae: Sticklebacks
Gasterosteus aculeatus, Three-spine Stickleback. Widespread in lakes and streams, west of Cascades and lower Columbia R. drainage.

Culaea inconstans, Brook Stickleback*. Rock Creek drainage in Spokane Co., probably introduced.

 

Order Percopsiformes

Percopsidae: Troutperches
Percopsis transmontana, Sand Roller. Quiet backwaters, Columbia R. drainage.

 

Order Perciformes

Percichthyidae: Temperate basses
Morone saxatilis, Striped Bass*. Scarce, marine and up larger rivers.

Centrarchidae: Sunfishes
Ambloplites rupestris, Rock Bass*. Few lakes W of Cascades.

Lepomis cyanellus, Green Sunfish*. Few lakes near Spokane.

Lepomis gibbosus, Pumpkinseed*. Widespread, lakes.

Lepomis gulosus, Warmouth*. Few lakes, mostly W.

Lepomis macrochirus, Bluegill*. Widespread, lakes.

Micropterus dolomieu, Smallmouth Bass*. Widespread, lakes and streams; more local than next species.

Micropterus salmoides, Largemouth Bass*. Widespread, lakes and slow streams.

Pomoxis annularis, White Crappie*. Lakes of Columbia and Snake R. drainages; less common than next species.

Pomoxis nigromaculatus, Black Crappie*. Widespread, lakes and large streams.

Embiotocidae: Surfperches
Cymatogaster aggregata, Shiner Perch. Marine, occasional in coastal rivers.

Percidae: Perches
Perca flavescens, Yellow Perch*. Widespread, lakes.

Stizostedion vitreum, Walleye*. Rivers and large lakes of Columbia R. drainage.

 

Order Scorpaeniformes

Cottidae: Sculpins
Cottus aleuticus, Coastrange Sculpin. West of Cascades, streams.

Cottus asper, Prickly Sculpin. Widespread, streams.

Cottus bairdi, Mottled Sculpin. Upper Columbia R. drainage, streams.

Cottus beldingi, Paiute Sculpin. Local east of Cascades, streams.

Cottus cognatus, Slimy Sculpin. Local east of Cascades, streams.

Cottus confusus, Shorthead Sculpin. Widespread N & W, streams.

Cottus gulosus, Riffle Sculpin. West of Cascades, streams.

Cottus perplexus, Reticulate Sculpin. West of Cascades, streams.

Cottus marginatus, Margined Sculpin. Blue Mountains, streams.

Cottus rhotheus, Torrent Sculpin. Widespread, streams.

Leptocottus armatus, Pacific Staghorn Sculpin. Marine, also mouths of coastal rivers.

 

Order Pleuronectoformes

Pleuronectidae: Righteye flounders
Platichthys stellatus, Starry Flounder. Marine, occasional in coastal rivers.