Coho Salmon

Coho-salmon

World Record: 33lbs 4oz
Salmon River, New York
September 27th 1989
Length: approx. 28 inches
Found in: Rivers & Ocean
Cold Waters 12C

Identification

The coho salmon’s body is fusiform, streamlined, somewhat laterally compressed; the snout becomes extended, narrow, and turned down at the tip in breeding males; the mouth is greatly deformed in breeding males, with the lower jaw enlarged and turned up at the tip so that the mouth is unable to close; the body colour of marine or Great Lakes adults is steel blue to slightly green on the back, brilliant silver on the sides, white on the underside, and small black spots on the back and sides above the lateral line and upper lobe of the caudal fin; breeding males become darker on the head and back, the sides are dull with a brilliant red stripe, and the underside is grey to black; the colour of females changes little and colour changes in Great Lakes males are less spectacular.

Habitat

The coho salmon spends about 18 months in the lake and returns to streams to spawn in the fall, usually at age 3 or 4 years. Adults move upstream during the day and usually do not travelmore than 240 km (150 miles) in larger rivers. Spawning takes place in swifter water of shallow, gravelly areas of river tributaries from The female prepares the nest in medium to small gravel by lying on her side and beating vigorously with her tail. The eggs fall into spaces between the gravel and immediately the female begins digging at the upstream edge of the nest covering the eggs with the displaced gravel. The female guards the nest as long as she can, but the adults die shortly after spawning. Some fry migrate almost immediately to the sea or lake but most remain at least 1 year in freshwater or lake tributaries. Usually in March or April of the year following their emergence, the young coho salmon (smolts) begin to migrate to the lake.

Diet

The food of the marine adult coho is more varied than that of many pacific salmon and consists mostly of fish and invertebrates. In the Great Lakes, the bulk of the food of larger coho consists of rainbow smelt and alewifes.

Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch

World Record: 4lbs, 3oz
Bordentown, New Jersey
May 1st 1865
Length: 6-10 inches
Found in: Lakes
Cool waters 22C

Identification

The yellow perch is a member of the perch family of fishes and has the following characteristics: An elongate, oval body; A moderately long, blunt snout which does not extend beyond the lower jaw; Two well separated dorsal fins; The back and top of the head are bright green to olive to golden brown and this color extends downwards to form six to eight vertical bars over the yellow to yellow-green sides; The underside is white; and The dorsal and caudal fins are yellow to green, anal and pelvic fins opaque yellow to silver white and the pectoral fins amber and transparent.

Habitat

The yellow perch is most abundant in the open water of lakes with moderate vegetation, clear water and bottoms of muck to sand and gravel. They spawn in the spring, usually from mid- April to May. Adults migrate to the shallow waters of lakes and often into tributary rivers to spawn. Spawning takes place during the night and early morning, usually near rooted vegetation, submerged brush or fallen trees, The eggs hatch in approximately 8 - 10 days and the young remain inactive for about 5 days. In the first summer large, compact schools of the young are often seen. Adults and young are gregarious, often moving about in loose groups of 50-200 individuals.

Diet

The food of the yellow perch changes with size and season but it is mainly composed of immature insects, larger invertebrates, and the eggs and young of a wide variety of fishes. It is an active feeder during the whole year and can be angled summer and winter. The yellow perch may be the easiest of all fish to catch and is a favorite sport fish of children.

Walleye

Walleye

World Record: 25 lbs
Old Hickory Lake, TN
August 2nd 1960
Length: 13-25inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Cool Waters 23C

Identification

The walleye is the largest member of the perch family. They have an elongated, slightly compressed body and a bluntly pointed head. Walleye have a long, blunt snout. The back and top of the head are dark green; the sides are golden yellow; and the underside is milk-white or yellow-white. The dorsal and caudal fins are speckled, the pelvic fins are yellow or orange-yellow; and the pectoral fins are dark or pale olive. Five darker saddles that extend to their upper sides break up their olive/gold pattern. The color shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth.

Habitat

Walleye typically are bottom dwelling fish. Their eyes are very light sensitive, and clear lakes on bright days they certainly will go deep, They loosely school, and finding one fish is a good reason to keep fishing in an area. In midsummer, walleye tend to stay deep. In winter, they remain active and are a very popular species through the ice. They will seek out their food, and take advantage of inactive, resting bait. Usually stay over firm bottom such as sand, rock or gravel; occasionally near vegetation but not in it.

Diet

Walleye eat small fishes, minnows, yellow perch, suckers, and bluegill to their diet. Adult walleye consume large quantities of fish, sometimes feeding upon them almost entirely. Yellow perch make up a substantial part of the walleye diet in the natural lakes. Walleye are perfectly adapted for capturing prey in very low light, or even in total darkness. At the same time in most clear waters that they occupy, they forage most effectively at dawn and dusk when the prey fishes have limited vision but remain active. Their large, unusual eyes of the walleye are designed to help them easily find their prey.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

World Record: 11 lbs 15oz
Dale Hollow Lake, TN
July 9th 1955
Length: 10-24 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Warm Waters 25C

Identification

Smallmouth Bass have a robust, laterally compressed body with a large, long; head with dark bars which radiate back from the eyes. Their long, blunt snout has a slightly longer lower jaw. Two joined dorsal fins which appear as one and the back and top of the head are brown, golden brown through olive to green. The sides are lighter than the back, more golden with golden flecks on most scales and marked by 8 – 15 pronounced to vague, thin vertical bars. The underside is cream to milk-white; the pectoral fins are clear and the others are opaque, dark to amber with some black on rays, spines or membranes. The body color is variable with size, condition and habitat: in clear water they are darker with pronounced, contrasting markings; and, in turbid water they are lighter with vague markings.

Habitat

They are usually found in rocky and sandy areas of lakes and rivers in moderately shallow water and near rocks of shoals or submerged logs. The smallmouth bass spawns in late spring and early summer, usually from late May to early July. The male builds a nest (2 – 20 feet) of water on a sandy, gravel, or rocky bottom, of lakes and rivers, usually near the protection of rocks or logs. After spawning, the male guards the nest and fans the eggs. The eggs hatch in approximately 4 – 10 days. After 5 – 7 days, the young begin to leave the nest, but are guarded by the male for several days.

Diet

The food of the smallmouth bass is mainly composed of insects, crayfish and fishes. The smallmouth bass takes this variety of food from the surface, in the water column, and off the bottom.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

World Record: 48 lbs
Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan
Sept 5 2009
Length: 20-30 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Cold Waters 17C

Identification

The rainbow trout has an elongated, laterally compressed body with a rounded snout, which becomes extended and the lower jaw turns up in breeding males. The back, upper sides and the top of the head are steel blue, blue-green, and yellowgreen to almost brown. The sides are silvery, white or pale yellow-green to grey, and marked with a pink blush to red band and many small black spots. The underside is silvery, white or grey to yellowish. The dorsal and caudal fins have radiating rows of black spots, while the remaining fins are buff with few spots.

Habitat

The habitat of stream-dwelling rainbow trout is usually small to moderately large, shallow rivers with moderate flow and gravel bottoms. The lake-resident trout are usually found in moderately deep, cool lakes with adequate shallows and vegetation for good food production. For a lake population to be self-sustaining, there must be a gravelly river to which the adults can migrate during the spawning season.

Rainbow trout spawn in the spring immediately after the ice melts. The female digs a nest in the gravel by turning on her side and beating her tail up and down. The eggs usually hatch in approximately 4 – 7 weeks.

Diet

Northern pike lurk at the edge of weed beds and attacks unwary creatures that enter its domain, such as fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats and young waterfowl. It is an opportunist that can be best described as an omnivorous carnivore, as it feeds on whatever is most readily available.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike

World Record: 55 lbs 1oz
Lake of Grefeern, Germany
October 16th 1986
Length: 18-30
Found in: Lakes
Cool Waters 20C

Identification

The northern pike is a member of the pike family of fishes and has the following characteristics: A long, slender, laterally compressed body; A long, broad, flattened snout; The dorsal and anal fins are located at the end of the body near the tail; The back, upper sides and the top and upper parts of the head are a dark brilliant green through olive-green to almost brown; The sides are conspicuously marked with longitudinal rows of yellow to whitish bean-shaped spots; The underside is cream to milk-white; The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are green to yellow, sometimes orange or pale red, with irregular black markings. The paired fins are buff and usually unmarked

Habitat

The northern pike habitat is warm, slow, heavily vegetated rivers or the weedy bays of lakes. It spawns in the spring immediately after the ice melts. During spawning, they swim through the vegetated areas of shallow water and the eggs are scattered at random and attach to the vegetation. The eggs hatch in approximately 12 – 14 days. The young remain in the shallow spawning areas for several weeks after hatching. Young pike feed on larger zooplankton and immature aquatic insects until they reach about 5 cm (2 inches) in length, when fish becomes their main diet.

Diet

Northern pike lurk at the edge of weed beds and attacks unwary creatures that enter its domain, such as fish, crayfish, frogs, mice, muskrats and young waterfowl. It is an opportunist that can be best described as an omnivorous carnivore, as it feeds on whatever is most readily available.

Muskellunge

Muskellunge

World Record: 67 lbs 8oz
Lake Court Oreilles, WI
July 24th 1949
Length: 20-60 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Cool Waters 24C

Identification

Also known as “Muskie’s” they have a long, moderately laterally compressed body with a long head and snout and a large mouth. The dorsal and anal fins are located at the end of the body near the tail. Their body color is generally dark markings on a light background: the back, head and upper sides are iridescent green-gold to light brown. The sides range from green, green-gold to brownish, to grey or silvery. The head is marked with spots or by several dark bars radiating from the eyes; the underside and under the head is cream to milk-white with small brown to grey spots or blotches. The fins are greenish or buff to red-brown with dark blotches, which are more prominent on the unpaired fins.

Habitat

Muskellunge are found in lakes land large rivers. They prefer clear waters where they lurk along weed edges, rock outcrops or other structures to rest. A fish forms two distinct home ranges in summer: a shallow range and a deeper one. The shallow range is generally much smaller than the deeper range due to shallow water heating up. A muskie will continually patrol the ranges in search of available food.

Diet

Muskies prey upon anything that fits in the mouth. Most of their diet consists of fish but it also includes crayfish, frogs, ducklings, snakes, muskrats, mice, other small mammals, and small birds. The mouth is large with many long, needle-like teeth. Muskies will attempt to take their prey headfirst, sometimes in a single gulp. They will take prey items that are up to 30% of their total length.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth
Bass

World Record: 22 lbs 4 oz
Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan
July 2nd 2009
Length: 10-24 inches
Found in: Lakes
Warm Waters 27C

Identification

Largemouth Bass have a robust body, which is less laterally compressed than the smallmouth bass. They have a large, long, head with a deep wide dorsal surface and a long, blunt snout. A large, wide lower jaw is slightly longer than the upper jaw along with two joined dorsal fins. The back and top of the head are bright green to olive and the sides are almost as dark in the largest fish to lighter green or golden green. The sides of the head are olive to golden green with some scattered black pigment and the underside is milk-white to yellow. The dorsal and caudal fins are opaque, green to olive; the anal and pelvic fins are green to olive with some white; and the pectoral fins are amber and clear.

Habitat

Largemouth bass stay in the upper levels of warm watered small shallow lakes and shallow bays of larger lakes. It is almost always found close to soft bottoms, stumps, and extensive growths of a variety of emergent and sub-emergent vegetation, especially water lilies, cattails, and other pond weeds. The largemouth bass spawns from late spring to mid- summer. Spawning grounds vary from gravelly sand to marl and soft mud in reeds, bulrushes or water lilies. The male sweeps clean an area (2 – 3 feet) in diameter. Often the bottom of the nest includes the exposed roots of emergent vegetation. The eggs are laid over the bottom and lip of the nest. After spawning, the male guards the nest and fans the eggs. The eggs hatch in approximately 3 – 5 days and the young are about 3 mm in length. After 6 or 7 days, the young begin to leave the nest.

Diet

Adult largemouth bass are largely fish-eating predators, but food type changes as they grow from plankton, to insects, to fish, crayfish and frogs. The largemouth bass is a sight feeder and takes food from the surface, in the water column, and off the bottom. It often feeds in schools near shore, close to vegetation.

Common Carp

Common Carp

World Record: 75lbs 11oz
Lac de St. Cassien France
May 21st 1987
Length: up to 50 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Warm Waters 28C

Identification

The common carp is a heavy-bodied minnow with barbels on either side of the upper jaw. Carp have stocky bodies, large scales, and range in color from dark olive bronze on the top of the back to lighter silvery yellow on the belly. The color intensity varies to blend with the color of the water or the habitat background. Typically, color varies from brassy green or yellow, to golden brown, or even silvery. The belly is usually yellowish-white. The dorsal and ventral fins have a stiff-barbed spine at the front followed by soft flexible 17-21 rays. The oldest recorded age is of at least 75 years. They have good eyesight and are sensitive to sound, and disturbances in or near the water. The mouth and lips are adapted to extend like a short tube for sucking up food. Regular scales easily identify the Common Carp over the whole of its body. They have an orderly scale pattern and slender bodies.

Habitat

Common carp prefer large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. They prefer to be in groups of 5 or more. They naturally live in a temperate climate in fresh or slightly brackish water. They will readily survive winter in a frozen over pond, as long as some free water remains below the ice. Carp are able to tolerate water with very low oxygen levels, by gulping air at the surface.

Diet

Common carp are omnivorous. They can eat a vegetarian diet of water plants, but prefer to scavenge the bottom for insects, crustaceans (including zooplankton), crawfish, and benthic worms.

Channel Catfish

Chanel Catfish

World Record: 58 lbs
Santee-Cooper Reservoir, South Carolina
July 7th 1964
Length: 3.9–5.2 ft
Found in: Lakes, Rivers, and Ponds
Warm Waters 25C

Identification

The channel catfish is the largest of the catfishes in Canada. They have a large, less rounded body than other catfishes with a large, long, wide head, which is flat to slightly rounded on top. They have a short, wide mouth with a broad, flat undersurface and 4 pairs of darkly colored barbells. The back, top of the head and upper sides are steel blue to grey. The lower sides and the underside are dirty white to silver-white. The fins are the same color as the body and the caudal fin is forked (the only catfish in Canada with a forked tail); and breeding males are often brighter blue in color.

Habitat

The channel catfish is found usually in clear, deeper water with sand, gravel or rubble bottoms. They are most often found in the protection of rocks or logs. Channel catfish undergo local movements in lakes and into tributary streams to feed. Channel catfish spawn in late spring or summer and, depending on the habitat. Spawning takes place in secluded, nests built by the male in holes, undercut banks, log jams or rocks. After spawning, the males protect the nest and clean the eggs with their fins. The eggs hatch in about 5 – 10 days and the young lie on their sides in the nest for 2 – 5 days, after which time they swim to the surface and begin to feed.

Diet

Channel catfishes feed on or near the bottom, during the day and at night. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material, which includes mayflies, crayfish, crabs, green algae, larger water plants, tree seeds, fishes and, rarely, birds. While feeding at night, the channel catfish uses mainly its barbels to search for food.