Georgia has some of the highest freshwater fish biodiversity in the United States, over 320 species and growing! There are 8 species that are endemic to Georgia and can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Georgia is also home to several federally and state listed fish. Unfortunately, people aren’t as educated on the non-game species of fish and as a result their populations are diminishing. With urbanization spreading further from Atlanta every day, it is important to shine a light on these incredible species that you can find in a creek in your backyard.
I was born and raised in Georgia, but it wasn’t until I took Ichthyology at KSU that I discovered a new found love for the non-game fishes (Thank you Professor Ensign!). After I graduated, I fortunately got a seasonal job working with the GA DNR Stream Team. This job was a dream of mine and I’m so thankful for that experience. The DNR Stream Team assesses stream health all across Georgia using IBI scores based off of habits and fish populations. Fish species can tell you a lot about the stream so it is important for people to be educated. In addition, fish have always been a large aspect of human life and we need them to survive. There isn’t a well defined freshwater fishes of Georgia book so I’m determined to photograph every freshwater fish species in the state. Along the way, I will educate the public on what fish you can find in local creeks and the life history of each species.