Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Ecology

Fishes of the Columbia River

The Columbia River is home to many species of fish. Some fish species are natives to the Columbia Basin, meaning that they descended from ancestral fish living in the region thousands of years ago. Other fish species have been introduced to the region by humans, either intentionally or accidently, within the past 200 years or so.

The following lists of native and introduced fish represent the species found in our region based on Fishes of the Columbia Basin by Dennis D. Dauble (2009, Keokee Books, Sandpoint, ID).

Native Fishes

Lamprey Family (Petromyzontidae)

  • Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata)
  • Western brook lamprey (Lampetra richardsoni)

Sturgeon Family (Acipenseridae)

  • White sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)

Salmonid Family (Salmonidae)

  • Mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni)
  • Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus)
  • Cutthroat trout (Onchorhynchus clarki)
  • Steelhead (Onchorhynchus mykiss)
  • Rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss)
  • Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha)
  • Coho salmon (Onchorhynchus kisutch)
  • Sockeye salmon (Onchorhynchus nerka)

Minnow Family (Cyprinidae)

  • Chiselmouth (Acrocheilus alutaceus)
  • Northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheillus oregonensis)
  • Redside shiner (Richardsonius balteatus)
  • Peamouth (Mylocheilus caurinus)
  • Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)
  • Speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus complex)
  • Leopard dace (Rhinichthys falcatus), Umatilla dace (R. umatilla), tui chub (Gila bicolor) and Oregon chub (Oregonichthus crameri) are all minnows that have limited or unknown ranges in the Columbia Basin

Sucker Family (Catostomidae)

  • Largemouth sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus)
  • Bridgelip sucker (Catostomus columbianus)
  • Longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus)
  • Mountain sucker (Catostomus platyrhynchus)

Cod Family (Gadidae)

  • Eelpout (Lota lota)

Stickleback Family (Gasterosteidae)

  • Three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

Trout-perch Family (Percopsidae)

  • Sand roller (Percopsis transmontana)

Sculpin Family (Cottidae)

  • Prickly sculpin (Cottus asper)
  • Torrent sculpin (Cottus rhotheus)
  • Paiute sculpin (Cottus beldingi)
  • Margined sculpin (Cottus marginatus)
  • Mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi complex)
  • Reticulate sculpin (Cottus perplexus), shorthead sculpin (C. confusus), slimy sculpin (C. cognatus), and coastrange sculpin (C. aleuticus) are all sculpins that have limited or unknown ranges in the Columbia Basin

Introduced Fishes

Herring Family (Clupeidae)

  • American shad (Alosa sapidissima)

Salmonid Family (Salmonidae)

  • Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)
  • Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
  • Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
  • Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)

Pike Family (Esocidae)

  • Northern pike (Esox lucius)
  • Grass pickerel (Esox americanus)

Minnow Family (Cyprinidae)

  • Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
  • Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
  • Tench (Tinca tinca)

Catfish Family (Ictaluridae)

  • Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
  • Brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus)
  • Yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis)
  • Black bullhead (Ameiurus melas)
  • Tadpole madtom (Noturus gyrinus)

Killifish Family (Cyprinodontidae)

  • Banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanous)

Live-bearer Family (Poeciliidae)

  • Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)

Sunfish Family (Centrarchidae)

  • Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
  • Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)
  • Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
  • Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
  • Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
  • White crappie (Pomoxis annularis)

Perch Family (Percidae)

  • Yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
  • Walleye (Sander vitreus)
  • Fathead minnow ( Pimephales promelas) and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) are minnows that have limited or unknown ranges in the Columbia Basin

Ecology

Additional Information