How Many Freshwater Fish Can You Name From a Photo?

By: Ariana Perez

How Many Freshwater Fish Can You Name From a Photo?
Image: Yiming Chen / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Were you aware that fishes are known to be the oldest aquatic vertebrates found around the world, having a fossil record spanning over 500 million years? Today, fishes can be found in an endless array of places: lakes, streams, rocky shores, reefs, kelp forests, ponds, oceans, estuaries and under sea ice, to name a few. When it comes to freshwater fish, there are thousands of different types. (Over 15,000, to be more precise.)

Freshwater fish species can vary greatly from country to country, not to mention from state to state. Their size, color, diet and even behavior help fishers and fish enthusiasts identify what type of fish they’re dealing with. Fish are unique and differ greatly from one to the other. Some of them you might know very well, especially if you go out fishing regularly or have an appetite for fish. But as you put the names of a few fish in your catch-and-eat bucket list (or perhaps just the eat bucket list), how well do you actually know your fish? Take this quiz and test your scales... I mean, skills.

Largemouth bass What species is this handsome fish?
Largemouth bass
The range of this fish within North America extends from the St. Lawrence River, through the Great Lakes, by the Hudson Bay and into the Mississippi River. And let's admit it, it's a pretty good looking fish!
Australian bass
Barcoo grunter
Chinook salmon

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Rainbow trout Notorious for its colorfully patterned skin and ability to swim upstream, what species is this fish?
Channel catfish
Alligator gar
Bull trout
Rainbow trout
The name Rainbow trout describes their shining colors on their skin. They're also known as redband trouts, because of the pinkish line across their bodies.

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Bluegill This fish is one of the easiest to catch. Can you name it?
Bluegill
Bluegill is one of the most popular food and game fishes. This fish can be found in numerous freshwater habitats throughout the western United States and other parts of the world.
Walleye
Humpback chub
Lake sturgeon

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Walleye Also a common freshwater game fish, this species is the biggest member of the perch family. Which fish is it?
Crappie
Whitebass
Yellow perch
Walleye
Its name derives from a special pigment layer located in its eye that can reflect light. This helps the fish when it navigates dark and murky waters.

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Crappie Found in all 48 adjoining states of the U.S., this species is a very popular North American game fish. Can you recognize it?
Redfin bully
Orfe
Machinaw
Crappie
This fish is believed to be native to the eastern United States and Canada. However, due to transplantation, it can be easily found all throughout the United States.

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Muskellunge Often confused with the Northern Pike, this fish has needle-like teeth and can be fished in the Northeastern United States and Canada. Which fish is this?
Northland mudfish
Perch
Salmonidae
Muskellunge
Most commonly known as The Muskie, this fish is the largest member in the pike species. It tends to grow 22-39 inches long, hence its weight!

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Brook trout Displaying a range of colors, this fish can help demonstrate the health of the water. What’s it called?
Brook trout
Displaying a beautiful array of colors, the brook trout is the only trout native to much of eastern America. It favors coldwater streams and lakes.
Steelhead
Brown trout
Sockeye salmon

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Channel catfish These fish have an olive brown to gray color and often display dark spots, especially the smaller ones. Which fish is it?
Blue catfish
Channel catfish
Their “barbels” help these fish find food in dark waters. They also have taste buds all over the surface of their body, which is helpful for when looking for tasty food.
Barcoo grunter
Mangrove jack

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Smallmouth bass The pseudonyms for this fish include “smallie” and “green trout.” Which fish is it?
Crappie
Smallmouth bass
This fish loves clear water and cold rivers. Its many nicknames just go to show how popular it is throughout the United States.
Black flounder
Brown trout

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Northern pike This fish gets its name from its similarity to a pole-like weapon used in the Middle Ages. Can you identify it?
Khaki grunter
Cherry barb
Killifish
Northern pike
This fish is a great predator thanks to its long, flattened snout and sharp teeth. It's also pretty big, especially the female pike, which can weigh more than 18 pounds.

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Barramundi This fish is usually silver, and its native waters span from Northern Australia to Southeast Asia, then west to Indian and Sri Lankan waters. Can you name it?
Barramundi
Barramundi are also known as Asian sea bass. They’re distantly related to the African Nile perch.
May River cod
Pacific shortfin eel
Yabby

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Chinook salmon This fish is also known as “King” and blackmouth, with those weighing over 30 pounds dubbed as “Tyee.” Which fish is it?
Lungfish
Northern saratoga
Chinook salmon
Its nickname alludes to its huge size, with the world record standing at 126 pounds. Although it likes to migrate, once it hatches, this fish will remain in fresh water for a length of time depending on the temperature of the water.
Brook char

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Common carp This fish has a robust, thick body that is arched toward the dorsal fin. Which is it?
Pollack
Panfish
Ling
Common carp
This fish is omnivorous but can also be herbivorous. Although it likes aquatic plants, it prefers to look for insects and worms at the bottom of waters. It's a messy eater!

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Freshwater drum Some call it sheephead, but what is this fish more commonly called?
Arctic grayling
Atlantic sturgeon
Freshwater drum
Mature males are able to grunt, thanks to a special set of muscles in the body cavity. The muscles tremble, touch the swim bladder, and emit the grunting.
Bloater

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Mangrove jack Nicknamed the red bream, what’s the actual name of this fish?
Rainbow fish
Spotted flagtail
Mangrove jack
Sometimes this fish is also confused with the red bass. It's strong, with some of the biggest measuring over 21 inches.
Lungfish

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Spotted flagtail Often confused with the jungle perch, what is this fish called?
Spotted flagtail
This fish originates in South American countries. It eats soft-leaved plants, though occasionally ventures to find plants with firmer leaves.
Rainbow fish
Sooty grunter
Sleepy cod

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Silver perch It is often misidentified with the barcoo grunter, but which is it?
Welch's grunter
Jungle perch
Silver perch
An Australian native fish, the silver perch is classified in the Terapontidae family, hence why it’s confused with grunters. Adult silver perch are omnivorous and feed on small prey, including worms and crustaceans.
Australian bass

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Alligator gar This fish is menacing-looking due to its long snout and tooth-filled mouth. What is it called?
Smallmouth buffalo
Blueback herring
Alligator gar
Its alligator-like snout gives this species its name. It can grow to be as big as 10 feet, and is known as one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America.
Black flounder

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Hybrid bass Also known as a "wiper," what is this fish?
Tilapia
Salmon
Shortjaw kokopu
Hybrid bass
Similar to the white bass, members of this species differ from each other thanks to stripes along the sides and back. Some of its other nicknames include "sunshine bass" and "palmetto bass."

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Rio Grande silvery minnow This fish occupies less than 10 percent of its historic range and can only be found in New Mexico. Which is it?
Razorback sucker
Rio Grande silvery minnow
This species used to be abundant throughout the Rio Grande and Pecos basins. An herbivore, it mainly feeds on plants and benthic macroinvertebrates.
Striped bass
Paddlefish

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White bass This fish inhabits lakes, ponds and the pools of rivers. What is it?
White bass
Its color pattern ranges from silvery-white to light green. It's easily identified thanks to its mostly black back and pale stripes that run along its belly.
Tarndale bully
Mackinaw
Lamprey

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Westslope cutthroat trout This fish is the official state fish for the state of Montana. Can you identify it?
Golden trout
Sockeye salmon
Westslope Cutthroat Trout
Though associated with Montana, this fish has a historical range that includes the upper Missouri drainage. Due to its declining numbers, the Westslope Cutthroat Trout is currently listed as "threatened" under the Species Risk Act.
Chinook salmon

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Torrentfish This freshwater fish is the only known member of the Pinguipedidae family in New Zealand. What is it called?
Stokells Smelt
Torrentfish
This fish likes to live in swift white rapids of stony rivers and streams. It's able to anchor itself to riverbeds thanks to its flat head and large pectoral fins.
Koaro
Inanga

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Yellow perch This fish likes to spawn during spring as the temperatures rise along the shorelines. Can you identify it?
Apache trout
Chum salmon
Yellow perch
This fish can be quickly identified thanks to its green to yellow-gold color. It has six to eight dark, vertical lines extending from the back to under the lateral line.
Comanche Springs Pupfish

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Mountain whitefish This fish prefers cold, high altitude streams. What is it?
Mountain whitefish
This fish has a whitefish cylindrical body, similar to the trout and salmon. It can be distinguished from other similar fish, such as the pikeminnows, due to an adipose fin on its back, near the tail.
American eel
Kokanee salmon
Bloomfield River cod

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Arctic grayling This species of freshwater fish is part of the salmon family. Can you name this fish?
Arctic grayling
The Artic grayling fish has many different colorings, which often change depending on the stream its located in. Its dorsal fins are one of its most colorful body parts, usually fringed in red and dotted with a spread of aqua and purple spots.
Brown mudfish
Catfish
Crans bully

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Banded kokopu Primarily a coastal species, what is this fish called?
Inanga
Lowland Longjaw Galaxias
Banded kokopu
The adult banded kokopu can be distinguished from other galaxiid species by the soft perpendicular bands that run along their sides and over their back. They can grow to be over seven inches.
Chatham mudfish

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Neon tetra It is a small, easy-to-care-for species. Can you name it?
Apache trout
Neon tetra
The blue horizontal strip across their body makes it visible in dark waters. A common fish to buy, it can grow to be roughly one inch in length.
Steelhead
Australian bass

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Grey mullet Known as the second member of the Mugilidae family found in New Zealand, what is the name of this fish?
Grayling
Grass carp
Grey mullet
This fish is identified from other mullets due to the lack of bright yellow eyes. Its oily flesh makes it a valuable food fish, hence its worldwide distribution.
Mosquitofish

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Koi carp A brightly colored member of the Cyprinidae family, what is this fish called?
Sea mullet
Sooty grunter
Yellowbelly
Koi carp
This fish can sport an endless array of colors. It can be identified thanks to their elongated, tubular body and flat head.

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Orfe Also dubbed “ide,” what is the more common name of this fish?
Orfe
It's similar to a goldfish, except for its torpedo-like body shape. It has a yellowish orange color, often accompanied with black spots on the head and silvery flanks.
Bignose galaxias
Brook char
Estuarine triplefin

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Rudd Native to Eurasia, this fish was illegally imported to New Zealand in 1967. Can you identify it?
Goldfish
Rudd
This fish is often confused with the roach fish. However, it can be distinguished by the position of its dorsal fin, which is situated further back, and their bluish-green back with silvery-white sides.
Wels catfish
Huchen

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Yelloweye mullet This fish is the most common of its species in southern Australia. Can you identify it?
Silver carp
Shortfin eel
Upland bully
Yelloweye mullet
Their eyes give it away! The Yelloweye mullet fish has distinct yellow eyes and a greenish-brown body with brown fins.

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Guppy Named after a researcher and geologist, can you identify this fish?
Discus
Guppy
Robert Lechmere Guppy, a researcher with no scientific background, is credited for discovering this fish. This fish also goes by “the millionfish” and “the rainbow fish.”
Eel-tailed catfish
Bluegill

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Mosquitofish The name of this fish derives from their diet. Can you name it?
Mackinaw
Striped bass
Mosquitofish
Yes, really. It mainly eats mosquitoes! This fish was introduced to many countries as pest control thanks to its diet choices.
Chum salmon

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Common bream This fish is found in lakes and slow rivers. Can you name it?
Ammersee kilch
Muge
Common bream
This fish is primarily found throughout Europe and nearby Asia. It's very common in Irish water and likes to reside in lowland rivers and lakes.
Vairon

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Reedfish A snake-like fish. Can you name it?
Reedfish
Its body shape can make it look like a water snake. Hence, this fish is also called a ropefish. It's more commonly found in slow-flowing rivers and standing waters.
Loach catfish
Banded corydoras
Caracha

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Panaque This fish is a popular pet. What is it called?
Goldfish
Zebra pleco
Golden dwarf sucker
Panaque
It is one of the few fish that digests wood. Panaque are large freshwater fish forming part of the taxonomic family Loricariidae, a large group of catfishes.

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