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 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, 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, 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, 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.
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, 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, 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.