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Statewide Homegrown 0

Arkansas Fish Guide: Part 2


Back with part two of Arkansas Fish! If you missed the first one, click here.

In the beautiful Natural State, at least 215 species of fish live in our rivers, lakes, springs, creeks and streams. Since Arkansas has a wide variety of eco-regions, it provides more habitats for fish to thrive. Within the Ozarks, River Valley, Ouachitas, Coastal Plain and Crowley’s Ridge in the Delta, there are 197 native species of fish. Many fish that now live in the waters of the natural state were born in hatcheries to be then introduced into the waters for food, vegetation or bait.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Central Stoneroller (Campostoma anamalum)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 3-8 in
Weight: N/A, but they eat up to 27% of their body weight.
Habitat: Small and medium rocky streams, mostly on algae at the bottom of the streams.
Food: East 27% of their body weight in algae
Range: Statewide, except they can not be found in the lowlands of southern and eastern Arkansas.

Engbretson, Eric, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 4.6 ft
Weight: 97 lbs
Habitat: Large rivers, ponds and reservoirs.
Food: Aquatic plants and animal matter
Range: Statewide

Bi-Jun Li, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 1-2 ft
Weight: 30-40 lbs
Habitat: Mud-bottom streams and lakes
Food: Aquatic plants, crustaceans, fish eggs and insects
Range: Mostly statewide

Harka Akos, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 50 in
Weight: 90 lbs
Habitat: Native to eastern Asia and found in the lowland rivers of China
Food: Phytoplankton
Range: Arkansas, Mississippi and White rivers as an introduced species.

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Redspot Chub (Nocomis asper)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 5-8 in
Weight: 3-5 lbs
Habitat: Clear, cool gravel-bottom streams
Food: Aquatic insects
Range: Arkansas River in the northwest of the state.

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Cardinal Shiner (Luxilus cardinalis)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 4-8 in
Weight: N/A
Habitat: Clear, gravel-bottom streams in swift water
Food: Aquatic plants, algae and insects
Range: Arkansas River basin in the western Ozarks.

Terrapin83 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Southern Redbelly Dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster)

Family: Minnow and Carp
Size: 3-5 in
Weight: 1-1 1/2 lb
Habitat: Clear, rocky headwater creeks.
Food: Algae and aquatic insects
Range: White, Black and Illinois river basins. Small population in streams on Crowley’s Ridge.

Spencer Neuharth / USFWS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elontaus)

Family: Sucker
Size: 20.2 in
Weight: 14 lbs
Habitat: Bottom of fast-moving rivers
Food: Aquatic insect larvae and mollusks
Range: Arkansas and Mississippi rivers along with a few other lowland and foothill streams

Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Black Buffalo (Ictiobus niger)

Family: Sucker
Size: 20-30 in
Weight: 53 lbs
Habitat: Strong currents in big rivers and reservoirs
Food: Macroinvertebrates
Range: Statewide

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Golden Redhorse (Moxostoma erythrurum)

Family: Sucker
Size: 8-15 in
Weight: 1 lb
Habitat: Swift streams on gravel shoals and riffles
Food: Algae, organic matter, invertebrates and small mollusks
Range: Clear, gravel-bottom streams of the Ozarks, Ouachitas and foothills

This guide was completed with the help of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s “Arkansas Backyard Birds” booklet. You can get your own booklet by contacting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on their website or calling (833) 345-0325.

Meet the

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Kayleigh Tritschler is fresh out of college with a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Harding University. City girl turned small town when she stayed in Searcy, AR after college to begin her career as a Marketing Coordinator at First Security Bank. Kayleigh is a book hoarder and spends some of her free time reading said books or buying new ones to collect dust.

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