Wisconsin Fish Identification
This fish identification tool was developed by the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

Carry 174 Wisconsin fish in your pocket!  Download the mobile app and you can identify Wisconsin fish wherever you go, no internet connection required.





Identify by appearance | Search by name
-- Snout Shape --
Terminal mouth
Mouth is on the end of snout
Subterminal mouth
Mouth is on the underside of snout
Superior mouth
Mouth is on the topside of snout
Sucker-like mouth
Mouth is on the underside of snout and has "lips"
Short duck-billed mouth
Mouth is on the end of snout
Long paddle-shaped mouth
Mouth is on the underside of snout
Sucking disk (no jaw)
Found only on lamprey
Clear Selection
-- Spines --
No spines
Dorsal fin is entirely membrane
One spine
At front of dorsal fin
More than one spine
With connecting membrane
More than one spine
With no connecting membrane
Clear Selection
-- Tail Shape --
Rounded tail
With no points or corners
Forked tail
In the shape of a V
Square tail
With no forking in the middle
Clear Selection
-- Body Shape --
Cylindrical
Like an eel
Fusiform
Football-shaped when viewed from the side
Laterally-compressed
Tall and thin when viewed from the front
Dorsoventrally-flattened
Short and wide when viewed from the front
Clear Selection
-- Body Pattern --
One or more stripes
From nose to tail
Solid color
With no blotches or patterns
Mottling
And irregular blotches
Spots
Well-defined, not blotches
Bands or bars
From top to bottom
Clear Selection
-- Distinctive Features --
Sucking disk (no jaw)
Found only on lamprey
Long paddle-shaped mouth
Mouth is on underside of snout
Long snout
Narrow with many teeth
Whiskers
(Barbels) defined and easy to see
More than one spine
With no connecting membrane
Snake-like
Long flexible body
Clear Selection
-- Family --
Bowfins (Amiidae)
Bullhead Catfishes (Ictaluridae)
Burbot (Lotidae)
Drums (Sciaenidae)
Freshwater Eels (Anguillidae)
Gars (Lepisosteidae)
Gobies (Gobiidae)
Herrings (Clupeidae)
Killifishes and topminnows (Fundulidae)
Lampreys (Petromyzontidae)
Livebearers (Poeciliidae)
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Mooneyes (Hiodontidae)
Mudminnows (Umbridae)
Paddlefishes (Polyodontidae)
Perches (Percidae)
Pikes (Esocidae)
Pirate perches (Aphredoderidae)
Sculpins (Cottidae)
Silversides (Atherinidae)
Smelts (Osmeridae)
Sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae)
Sturgeons (Acipenseridae)
Suckers (Catostomidae)
Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
Temperate Basses (Moronidae)
Troutperches (Percopsidae)
Trouts (Salmonidae)
Clear Selection
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