Freshwater Drum
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up of head: Notice the steep head profile.
  • Close-up of tail: Notice that the tail is rounded.
  • Notice the solid silvery color, the rounded tail, and the steep head profile.
  • Close-up of pelvic fin: Notice that the first ray of the pelvic fin is elongated into a filament.
  • Side view of a juvenile: Juveniles are similar to adults, except for a more pointed tail.
  • Close-up tail of a juvenile: Notice that the tail triangularly pointed.
  • Alternative view of pelvic fins.
  • Alternative view of caudal region.
  • Close-up underside of head: Notice the large sensory pores.
  • Alternative side view of a large fish.
  • Alternative side view.
  • Alternative side view of a large fish, held by Kyle Piller.
  • Alternative side view.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Drums (Sciaenidae)
Mouth and snout: Terminal and horizontal mouth, located ventrally on the head, with small teeth on the jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Solid color of silver, light gray, or light olive with a cream or white belly. Pelvic fins whitish, remaining fins lightly pigmented to dusky. 48-53 ctenoid lateral scales. Body shape and size: Body laterally compressed and deep; oval in cross section. Typically 350-500 mm (14-20 in) TL; maximum about 950 mm (38 in).
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Rounded or square tail (but see Juveniles). Dorsal fin with 2 distinct lobes, slightly attached by a membrane the first with 8-9 spines and the second with 1 spine and 24-32 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic; first ray elongated into filament. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin with 2 spines and 7 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The freshwater drum can be distinguished by its rounded/square/triangular tail, its steep head profile, and its pelvic fins with the first ray elongated into a filament. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to non-breeders.
Similar to adults, but tail more triangular (pointed) in shape.
Compare Similar Species
Tail Shape
Drum, FreshwaterRounded/square/triangular
Perch, WhiteForked
Head Profile
Drum, FreshwaterSteep
Perch, WhiteRounded
Pelvic Fins
Drum, Freshwater1st ray elongated into a filament
Perch, WhiteNo filament
Similarity Index
Drum, FreshwaterN/A
Perch, WhiteModerately similar