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Fishes of Idaho

How are your identification skills? Do you know which are native and which were introduced? To see photos and descriptions, and learn more about Idaho fish, check out our Fishes of Idaho online database.

There are around 20,000 species of fish in the world. About 58% of these are marine (saltwater) fish, 41% are freshwater fish, and 1% are both. We have around 100 species in Idaho, and the list keeps growing as more non-native fish are released into Idaho waters. There are only 39 species of fish native to Idaho. The rest were introduced--some by accident, but most on purpose.

Sculpins (Cottids)

Shoshone sculpin (Cottus greenei)

Native

The Shoshone sculpin is restricted in distribution (endemic) to the springs and spring creeks in the Hagerman Valley and to Blue Hearts springs in the Snake River. This species has been collected from 25 springs/streams in the Hagerman area. Shoshone sculpin are most common in the slower moving waters of these spring/stream systems. Smaller Shoshone sculpin are found in areas with considerable aquatic vegetation. Spawning probably occurs in the spring, but in at least one spring system the spawning season may last from late winter to mid-summer. Females produce about 20 to 120 eggs depending on their size. Shoshone sculpin feed primarily on aquatic benthic insects and small crustaceans. This is a small species, seldom reaching more than 3 inches in length. The Shoshone sculpin is considered rare by AFS because of its very restricted natural distribution.

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