Wildlife - Fish (Kids)

Chain Pickerel

Chain Pickerel  Credit: Virginia Dept. of Inland Game and Fisheries

Chain Pickerel - The chain pickerel is characterized with a slender body with prominent chain-like markings on a contrasting lighter green background. Chain pickerel will eat almost everything that moves. A popular gamefish, they will follow a fishing line to strike their pray at incredible speeds.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish   Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Channel Catfish - Channel catfish have barbells on the chin that look like long black whispers.  The barbels are equipped with tastebuds which help the catfish feed at night and in muddy waters.  Very popular for their flavor, channel catfish prefer deep pools around logs, rocks and other structure where they can hide.

Gizzard Shad

Gizzard Shad, Credit: NOAA

Gizzard Shad - The American Gizzard Shad are abundant in Triadelphia.  Pollution-tolerant, the American Gizzard shad produce slime like eels and also have a noticeable strong “fishy” smell.  This is one of the reasons that they are not valued for eating as well as having numerous bones and tasteless flavor.

largemouth bass

Largemouth Bass, Image Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Largemouth Bass -This fish can be recognized by its lower jaw which extends past the back ridge of the eye.  It is dark green with silvery sides and belly.  They like large, slow moving rivers or streams with soft bottoms.  They feast on minnows, perch, sunfish, gizzard shad, small mammals, insects, frogs and occasionally snakes.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike, Illustration by Timothy Knepp, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Northern Pike - This large gamefish has light markings on a dark olive green body.  A carnivorous fish, the northern pike likes to feed other fish, but on occasion ducklings.  In 2010, the largest pike caught along WSSC’s watershed was 12 lbs. 0.5 oz.

small mouth bass

Smallmouth Bass, Illustration by Duane Raver, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Smallmouth Bass - Found upstream from Brighton Dam, this fish is very popular with anglers due to its fighting spirit.  To reach the Maryland’s requirement of being 12” or more before being harvested, a smallmouth bass requires three to five growing seasons.   It spends those seasons in gravel or rubble-studded streams with some shade cover near deep ponds.

white perch

White Perch, image from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and US Geological Survey

White Perch - This game fish is a “dinner plate” favorite due to its flavor.  Averaging 7 to 10 inches, this fish usually weighs around 1 lb.  According to MD DNR, white perch are well established in both of WSSC’s reservoirs and spawn from April to June in fresh to low-salinity waters of rivers such as the Patuxent.

yellow perch

Yellow Perch, Image Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Game Service

Yellow Perch - This fish’s most distinguishing mark is 6-8 vertical bands found across their back and sides.  They like slow-moving, nearshore areas with vegetation that can provide food and protection.  They will feed on insect larvae, crustaceans and/or small fish.   But fishermen find it easiest to catch a yellow perch during their spawning run in the early winter months.

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