94 Species and almost double still left to see!

My fascination with the freshwater fishes of Georgia all started when I was young. I loved being outside and fishing with my dad. I have always wanted to learn as much as possible about every living organism, but aquatic species (mainly fish) have a special place in my heart. I have a weird attraction to fish. They are absolutely fascinating to me; being able to breathe underwater and being completely immersed in an aquatic world so many of us wish to be in.

In college, my professor, Dr. Ensign, opened my eyes to the incredible diversity in Georgia’s fishes. I will forever be grateful for having him as my ichthyology professor and for meeting one of my best friends Kelly through that class. I started helping with research on the movement of two fish species in urban versus rural areas: the largescale stone roller and the red breast sunfish. Once I started backpack electrofishing with them, I started to see the diversity in creeks only a meter wide and flowing right through a Kennesaw neighborhood. To me, this was astonishing. I thought I knew about the majority of Georgia’s fishes, but unfortunately I barely knew anything. As I learned throughout the year, I slowly fell more in love with this state’s fish biodiversity.

In June, I started working for the GA DNR Stream Survey Team (best job ever). This is where my education really started to take off. I learned so much more than I could have imagined in those six, short months. On my last day, I made a list of all of the fish species I had handled over those months and it was crazy to see that it was only about 1/3 of what’s out there! Here is the list of the 94 SPECIES I was blessed to work with:

  • Bluegill
  • Redbreast
  • Green Sunfish
  • Yellow Bullhead
  • Snail Bullhead
  • Yellow Perch
  • Black Crappie
  • Alabama Hogsucker
  • Black Banded Darter
  • Northern Studfish
  • Southern Studfish
  • Chattahoochee Sculpin
  • Largescale Stoneroller
  • Bluefin Stoneroller
  • Blue Head Chub
  • Spotted Sunfish
  • Warmouth
  • Red Ear Sunfish
  • Bandfin Shiner
  • Dixie Chub
  • Speckled Madtom
  • Blacktail Shiner
  • Black Madtom
  • White Sucker
  • Chattahoochee Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Alabama Spotted Bass
  • Greater Jumprock
  •  Redhorse sp. (black)
  • Jumprock sp.
  • Shoal Bass
  • Blacktop Shiner
  • Spottail Shiner
  • Weed Shiner
  • Longbow Minnow
  • Clear Chub
  • Creek Chub
  • Striped Shiner
  • Scarlet Shiner
  • Bigeye Chub
  • Banded Sculpin
  • Rock Bass
  • Longer Sunfish
  • Redeye Bass
  • Black Spotted Topminnow
  • Logperch
  • Greenside Darter
  • Blueside Darter
  • Rainbow Darter
  • Tennessee (Snubnose) Darter
  • Redline Darter
  • Blacknose Dace
  • Northern Hogsucker
  • Hybrid Sunfish
  • Hybrid Bass
  • Tennessee Shiner
  • Warpaint Shiner
  • Whitetail Shiner
  • Lamprey spp.
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Bluntness Minnow
  • Blackside Snubnose Darter (Black)
  • Yellowfin Shiner
  • Spotted Sucker
  • Striped Jumprock
  • Eastern Creek Chubsucker
  • Golden Shiner
  • Brassy Jumprock
  • Mosquitofish
  • Rosyface Chub
  • Eastern Silvery Minnow
  • Coastal Shiner
  • Flat Bullhead
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Redfin Pickerel
  • Christmas Darter
  • Turquoise Darter
  • Margined Madtom
  • Tadpole Madtom
  • Pirate Perch
  • Dusky Shiner
  • American Eel
  • Tessellated Darter
  • Flier
  • Ocmulgee Shiner
  • White Crappie
  • Coosa Darter
  • Coosa Shiner
  • Rainbow Shiner
  • Mountain Shiner
  • Altamaha Bass
  • Altamaha Shiner
  • Hybrid Shiner (Yellowfin x Bandfin)
  • White Catfish

 

It’s crazy to think that I have just scratched the surface too. I have around 200 more species to go until I’ve seen them all (my goal). Wish me luck!

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