Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

35 Fish that Live in Lakes (A to Z List with Pictures)

35 Fish that Live in Lakes

Examples of fish that live in lakes include alewife, black bullhead, bluegills, brook trout, and brown trout.

While each lake has its own unique ecosystem, there are some fish that are commonly found in lakes across the world. Popular examples include bass, trout, and perch.

These fish typically have streamlined bodies that help them to swim quickly and efficiently in open water. In addition, they generally have well-developed eyesight and keen senses of smell, which helps them to find food and avoid predators.

Let us take a look at some of the most common types of lake-dwelling fish.

Examples of Fish that Live in Lakes

1. Alewife

Alewife
Scientific NameAlosa pseudoharengus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangethe Atlantic Ocean and the lakes and streams that drain it from Newfoundland to North Carolina

The alewife is a type of herring that is found in lakes across North America. These fish can grow to be up to 18 inches long and are silver in color with blue-green backs. Alewives are an important part of the lake ecosystem as they provide food for larger predators such as bass, trout, and pike.

Related Article: 33 Fish that Jump out Of Water

2. Black Bullhead

Black Bullhead
Scientific NameAmeiurus melas
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeslow current over soft substrates in pools and backwaters of creeks and small to large rivers, and in oxbows, ponds, and lakes

The black bullhead is a small catfish that is found in lakes and ponds across North America. It has a dark brown or black body with white spots on its fins. This fish typically reaches a length of around 12 inches and feeds on insects, worms, and small crustaceans.

Related Article: 27 Fish that Migrate

3. Bluegills

Bluegill
Scientific NameLepomis macrochirus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeponds, lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving streams and rivers

Bluegill is a small, but popular, freshwater fish that is found in lakes across the United States. Bluegills are easily recognizable by their dark blue or purple gills and bright orange or reddish fins. They typically grow to be about 4-8 inches long and weigh less than a pound.

4. Brook Trout

Brook Trout
Scientific NameSalvelinus fontinalis
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeeastern North America, from the Great Lakes east to the Atlantic Ocean, and down the Appalachian Mountains as far south as Georgia

The brook trout is a member of the char family, which also includes lake trout and salmon. It is native to North America and can be found in lakes and streams throughout the United States and Canada. Brook trout typically have dark green or brown bodies with light-colored spots.

5. Brown Trout

Brown Trout
Scientific NameSalmo trutta
Type of AnimalFish
RangeIceland, Europe, western Asia, and northwestern Africa

The brown trout is a popular game fish that is found in lakes across Europe, North America, and Asia. It is a member of the salmon family and can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching lengths of over four feet. Brown trout are typically brown or olive-colored, with dark spots on their body and fins.

6. Burbots

Burbot
Scientific NameLota lota
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecold rivers and lakes of Europe, Asia, and North America

Burbots are long, slimy fish that are related to eels and can be found in freshwater lakes across the Northern Hemisphere. They typically grow to be about 2-3 feet long and have scaly skin that is mottled brown or green in color.

Burbots are bottom-dwellers and prefer to live in cold water that is deep and dark. They are nocturnal creatures that feed on smaller fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

7. Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish
Scientific NameIctalurus punctatus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangesouthern Canada into northern Mexico

The channel catfish is a popular sport fish in the United States. It is also one of the most common types of catfish, with a range that extends from coast to coast.

This species can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching over 100 pounds.

8. Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon
Scientific NameOncorhynchus tshawytscha
Type of AnimalFish
RangeMonterey Bay area of California to the Chukchi Sea area of Alaska

The Chinook salmon is a large fish that is found in lakes across North America. It has a dark green or blue back, with silver sides and a white belly. Chinook salmon can grow to be over four feet long and weigh over 60 pounds.

9. Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon
Scientific NameOncorhynchus kisutch
Type of AnimalFish
Rangethroughout the North Pacific Ocean and in most coastal streams and rivers from Alaska to central California

The Coho Salmon is a species of anadromous fish that is found in the northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it. The Coho Salmon is also known as the Silver Salmon due to its bright silver coloration.

10. Common Carp

Common Carp
Scientific NameCyprinus carpio
Type of AnimalFish
RangeNorth America, Australia, and New Zealand

One of the most widespread fish in the world, the common carp is a popular target for anglers. It is a large fish, growing up to four feet in length and weighing up to 40 pounds. Carp are bottom-feeders, using their sensitive barbels to root around in the mud for food.

11. Crappie

Crappie
Scientific NamePomoxis
Type of AnimalFish
Rangefreshwater lakes, reservoirs, ponds, sloughs, backwaters pools, and streams

A member of the sunfish family, crappie are found in both lakes and rivers. They have a distinctively long and narrow body, and can grow to be quite large – some specimens have been known to reach over 30 inches in length.

12. Fathead Minnow

Fathead Minnow
Scientific NamePimephales promelas
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeover much of North America, ranging from Canada to northern Mexico

The fathead minnow is a small, freshwater fish that is commonly found in lakes and streams across North America. It gets its name from its large head and eyes. The fathead minnow is an important food source for larger fish and wildlife.

13. Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish
Scientific NamePylodictis olivaris
Type of AnimalFish
Rangedeep pools of streams, rivers, canals, lakes, and reservoirs

The flathead catfish is a fish that is found in lakes across North America. It is easily recognizable by its flattened head and large, protruding eyes. This species can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching lengths of over two meters.

14. Gizzard Shad

Gizzard Shad
Scientific NameDorosoma cepedianum
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeeastern North America

Gizzard shad are a type of fish that is commonly found in lakes and rivers. They get their name from the fact that they have a hard, bony plate in their throat that helps them to grind up food.

Gizzard shad are typically silver or gray in color, and they can grow to be quite large – some individuals have been known to reach lengths of over two feet.

15. Green Sunfish

Green Sunfish
Scientific NameLepomis cyanellus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeNorth America, from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Appalachian Mountains

The Green Sunfish is a freshwater fish. It is found in lakes and streams across the United States. This fish has a greenish-brown body with dark spots on its sides.

16. Hybrid Sunfish

Scientific NameLepomis cyanellus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeanywhere where two or more species of Lepomis coexist

The hybrid sunfish is a good choice for stocking lakes because it is an aggressive predator that feeds on smaller fish. It is a cross between the green sunfish and the bluegill, and it can grow up to 12 inches long.

17. Lake Herring

Lake Herring
Scientific NameCoregonus artedi
Type of AnimalFish
Rangethe open waters of the Great Lakes

Also known as ciscoes, lake herring are found in cold lakes throughout North America. These fish play an important role in the diets of many predators, including humans. In addition to being eaten by people, lake herrings are also an important food source for animals such as bears, eagles, and ospreys.

18. Lake Sturgeon

Lake Sturgeon
Scientific NameAcipenser fulvescens
Type of AnimalFish
Rangein rivers as well as lakes

The lake sturgeon is a large, long-lived fish that is found in lakes and rivers throughout the world. It has a torpedo-shaped body and a row of sharp, bony plates running along its back. Lake sturgeons can grow to be over 6 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds.

19. Lake Trout

Lake Trout
Scientific NameSalvelinus namaycush
Type of AnimalFish
RangeCanada, Alaska, the Great Lakes, New England, and parts of Montana

One of the most popular fish in lakes across North America, lake trout are known for their delicious taste. These fish can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching over four feet in length and weighing over 40 pounds. Lake trout typically have dark-green or brownish-black bodies with white spots on their fins.

20. Lake Whitefish

Lake Whitefish
Scientific NameCoregonus clupeaformis
Type of AnimalFish
Rangea large number of inland lakes

The lake whitefish is a common freshwater fish found in lakes across North America. It has a silver-white body with a slightly forked tail and can grow to be up to 30 inches long. Lake whitefish are bottom-dwellers and feed on small invertebrates.

21. Largemouth Bass

largemouth bass
Scientific NameMicropterus salmoides
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeswamps, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, creeks, and large rivers

The largemouth bass is a freshwater fish that is native to North America. It is a popular sport fish and is also commonly found in lakes and ponds. The largemouth bass has a large mouth, which gives it its name and can grow to be up to four feet long.

22. Musky

Scientific NameEsox masquinongy
Type of AnimalFish
RangeNorth America, including the St. Lawrence River

The musky is a large, predatory fish that is found in lakes across North America. Muskies can grow to be over four feet long and weigh over 40 pounds. They are ambush predators, lying in wait for their prey to swim by before attacking.

23. Northern Pike

northern pike
Scientific NameEsox lucius
Type of AnimalFish
RangeEurasia and North America, including most of Canada, Alaska

The northern pike is a predatory fish that is found in lakes across Europe, Asia, and North America. It has a long, slender body and a large mouth full of sharp teeth. This fish preys on smaller fish, amphibians, and crustaceans.

24. Pumpkinseed

Pumpkinseed
Scientific NameLepomis gibbosus
Type of AnimalFish
Rangewarm, calm lakes, ponds, and pools of creeks and small rivers with plenty of vegetation

The pumpkinseed is a small, colorful fish that is found in lakes across North America. These fish are popular among anglers, as they are relatively easy to catch and make for good eating. Pumpkinseeds typically grow to be around 6-8 inches in length.

25. Rainbow Smelt

Scientific NameOsmerus mordax
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeacross North American watersheds

The rainbow smelt is a small, silver-colored fish that is found in lakes across North America. It typically grows to be about eight inches long and feeds on smaller fish, insects, and crustaceans.

26. Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout
Scientific NameOncorhynchus mykiss
Type of AnimalFish
Rangenortheastern Russia and along the Pacific slope of North America from Alaska south to northern Mexico

The rainbow trout is a popular game fish that is found in lakes across North America. These fish are distinguished by their bright colors, which can range from silver to yellow to pink. Rainbow trout typically feed on smaller fish.

27. Redear Sunfish

Redear Sunfish
Scientific NameLepomis microlophus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeTexas to Florida, but they can also be found in California, the Midwest, and the Carolinas

The Redear Sunfish, also known as the shellcracker, is a freshwater fish that is native to the southeastern United States. It gets its name from its large, red ear flap. The Redear Sunfish typically grows to be about 10 inches long and can live for up to eight years.

28. Rock Bass

Rock Bass
Scientific NameAmbloplites rupestris
Type of AnimalFish
RangeGreat Lakes and Saint Lawrence River system

Rock bass is a type of freshwater fish that are native to North America. They get their name from their habit of hiding among rocks in streams and rivers. Rock bass is typically dark green or brown in color, with light-colored stripes running down their sides. They can grow up to 10 inches in length and weigh up to 2 pounds.

29. Round Goby

Round Goby
Scientific NameNeogobius melanostomus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeBlack and Caspian Seas

The round goby is a small, bottom-dwelling fish that is native to Europe but has been introduced to lakes in North America and Asia. Round gobies typically grow to be about 4-6 inches long. They have dark brown or black bodies with white spots and a distinctive triangle-shaped head.

30. Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass
Scientific NameMicropterus dolomieu
Type of AnimalFish
Rangestreams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs

The smallmouth bass is a freshwater fish that is native to North America. It is a popular sport fish and is also raised commercially for food. Smallmouth bass typically grows to be about 18-22 inches long and weigh 2-4 pounds. They are brown or olive in color, with dark vertical stripes on their sides.

31. Smelt

Smelt
Scientific NameOsmeridae
Type of AnimalFish
Rangethe North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans, as well as rivers, streams, and lakes in Europe, North America, and Northeast Asia

Smelt are small, silvery fish that are found in lakes and rivers across North America, Europe, and Asia. They typically grow to be about 10 inches (25 cm) long and weigh less than half a pound (0.2 kg).

Smelt are opportunistic feeders that eat a variety of small aquatic creatures, such as insects, crustaceans, and other fish.

32. Steelhead

Steelhead
Scientific NameOncorhynchus mykiss
Type of AnimalFish
Rangecold-water tributaries of the Pacific basin in Northeast Asia and North America

Steelheads are a type of freshwater fish that are closely related to salmon. They are found in lakes and rivers all over the world and are prized by anglers for their game-fighting ability.

33. Striped Bass

Striped Bass
Scientific NameMorone saxatilis
Type of AnimalFish
Rangealong the East Coast from the St. Lawrence River in Canada to St. John’s River in Florida, and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Louisiana

The striped bass is a fish that is found in lakes and rivers across the United States. This fish has a long, slender body with dark stripes running along its sides. It is an opportunistic feeder that will eat a variety of small fish and invertebrates.

34. Walleye

Walleye
Scientific NameSander vitreus
Type of AnimalFish
RangeCanada, the Great Lakes, the Missouri River basin, and the upper Mississippi River basin, and have been introduced in the western and northeastern United States

It is easily recognizable by its large, distinctive eyes. Walleyes are relatively large fish, and they can grow to be over 30 inches long. They are typically brown or greenish in color, with white spots on their sides.

35. Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch
Scientific NamePerca flavescens
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeponds, lakes, and slow flowing rivers

The yellow perch is a small, freshwater fish that is found in lakes and rivers across North America. It has a yellow-green body with dark vertical stripes and can grow to about 12 inches long. The yellow perch is a popular game fish and is known for its delicate flavor.

Conclusion

There are many different types of fish that live in lakes. Some of the most common include bass, catfish, and perch. Each type of fish has its own unique characteristics and behaviors that help it to survive in its environment.

Lakes provide a great habitat for fish because they offer a large amount of space to swim, plenty of food, and shelter from predators. In return, fish help to keep the lake clean by eating algae and other small organisms.

Skip to content