Illinois Fish Species List

Distributional data taken from Smith (1979) and subsequent publications including Burr et al. (1988), Burr (1991), Burr et al. (1996), Larid and Page (1996), Eisenhower (1997), Poly and Wilson (1998), Hiland and Poly (2000), Chick et al. (2003), Burr and Page (2009), Tiemann and Sabaj (2012), TIemann et al. (2015), and Tiemann et al. (2021).  Special status includes ST – Illinois state-threatened, SE – Illinois state-endangered, FE – federally-endangered, X – extirpated from Illinois, and I- introduced/non-native (does not include neotropical fishes that are occasionally collected in Illinois). *Because of similarity in appearance with the Pallid Sturgeon, the Shovelnose Sturgeon is listed as state-endangered only in the Middle Mississippi River but not elsewhere in Illinois.

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For distribution data search our online database.


Class Cephalaspidomorphi

Order Petromyzontiformes

Family Petromyzontidae: Lampreys
Ichthyomyzon bdellium (Jordan) – Ohio Lamprey X
Ichthyomyzon castaneus Girard – Chestnut Lamprey
Ichthyomyzon fossor Reighard and Cummins – Northern Brook Lamprey SE
Ichthyomyzon unicuspis Hubbs and Trautman – Silver Lamprey
Lampetra aepyptera (Abbott) – Least Brook Lamprey ST
Lethenteron appendix (O’Donnell) – American Brook Lamprey ST
Petromyzon marinus (Linnaeus) – Sea Lamprey

Class Osteichthyes

Order Acipenseriformes

Family Acipenseridae: Sturgeons
Acipenser fulvescens Rafinesque – Lake Sturgeon SE
Scaphirhynchus albus (Forbes and Richardson) – Pallid Sturgeon SE FE
Scaphirhynchus platorynchus (Rafinesque) – Shovelnose Sturgeon SE*
Family Polyodontidae: Paddlefishes
Polyodon spathula (Walbaum) – Paddlefish

Order Lepisosteiformes

Family Lepisosteidae: Gars
Atractosteus spatula Lacepede – Alligator Gar X (being reintroduced)
Lepisosteus oculatus (Winchell) – Spotted Gar
Lepisosteus osseus (Linnaeus) – Longnose Gar
Lepisosteus platostomus Rafinesque – Shortnose Gar

Order Amiiformes

Family Amiidae: Bowfins
Amia calva Linnaeus – Bowfin

Order Osteoglossiformes

Family Hiodontidae: Mooneyes
Hiodon alosoides (Rafinesque) – Goldeye
Hiodon tergisus Lesueur – Mooneye

Order Anguilliformes

Family Anguillidae: Freshwater Eels
Anguilla rostrata (Lesueur) – American Eel ST

Order Clupeiformes

Family Clupeidae: Herrings, Shads, Sardines, and allies
Alosa alabamae Jordan and Evermann – Alabama Shad
Alosa chrysochloris (Rafinesque) – Skipjack Herring
Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson) – Alewife I
Dorosoma cepedianum (Lesueur) – Gizzard Shad
Dorosoma petenense (Günther) – Threadfin Shad I

Order Cypriniformes

Family Leuciscidae: Minnows
Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) – Central Stoneroller
Campostoma oligolepis Hubbs and Greene – Largescale Stoneroller
Chrosomus erythrogaster (Rafinesque) – Southern Redbelly Dace
Clinostomus elongatus – Redside Dace
Couesius plumbeus (Agassiz) – Lake Chub
Cyprinella lutrensis (Baird and Girard) – Red Shiner
Cyprinella spiloptera (Cope) – Spotfin Shiner
Cyprinella venusta (Girard) – Blacktail Shiner
Cyprinella whipplei Girard – Steelcolor Shiner
Erimystax dissimilis (Kirkland) – Streamline Chub
Erimystax x-punctatus (Hubbs and Crowe) – Gravel Chub ST
Hybognathus argyritis Girard – Western Silvery Minnow
Hybognathus hankinsoni Hubbs – Brassy Minnow ST
Hybognathus hayi Jordan – Cypress Minnow SE
Hybognathus nuchalis Agassiz – Mississippi Silvery Minnow
Hybognathus placitus Girard – Plains Minnow
Hybopsis amblops (Rafinesque) – Bigeye Chub SE
Hybopsis amnis Hubbs and Greene – Pallid Shiner SE
Luxilus chrysocephalus (Rafinesque) – Striped Shiner
Luxilus cornutus (Mitchill) – Common Shiner
Luxilus zonatus (Agassiz) – Bleeding Shiner
Lythrurus fasciolaris (Gilbert) – Scarlet Shiner X
Lythrurus fumeus Evermann – Ribbon Shiner
Lythrurus umbratilis (Girard) – Redfin Shiner
Macrhybopsis gelida (Girard) – Sturgeon Chub SE
Macrhybopsis hyostoma (Gilbert) – Shoal Chub
Macrhybopsis meeki Jordan and Evermann – Sicklefin Chub
Macrhybopsis storeriana (Kirtland) – Silver Chub
Nocomis biguttatus (Kirtlandi) – Hornyhead Chub
Nocomis micropogon (Cope) – River Chub SE
Notemigonus crysoleucas (Mitchill) – Golden Shiner
Notropis anogenus Forbes – Pugnose Shiner SE
Notropis atherinoides Rafinesque – Emerald Shiner
Notropis blennius (Girard) – River Shiner
Notropis boops Gilbert – Bigeye Shiner SE
Notropis buccata Cope – Silverjaw Minnow
Notropis buchanani Meek – Ghost Shiner
Notropis chalybaeus (Cope) – Ironcolor Shiner ST
Notropis dorsalis (Agassiz) – Bigmouth Shiner
Notropis heterodon (Cope) – Blackchin Shiner ST
Notropis heterolepis Eigenmann and Eigenmann – Blacknose Shiner SE
Notropis hudsonius (Clinton) – Spottail Shiner
Notropis maculatus (Hay) – Taillight Shiner SE
Notropis nubilus (Forbes) – Ozark Minnow
Notropis percobromus (Cope) – Carmine Shiner
Notropis photogenis (Cope) – Silver Shiner
Notropis shumardi (Girard) – Silverband Shiner
Notropis stramineus (Cope) – Sand Shiner
Notropis texanus (Girard) – Weed Shiner SE
Notropis volucellus (Cope) – Mimic Shiner
Notopis wickliffi (Cope) – Channel Shiner
Opsopoeodus emiliae (Hay) – Pugnose Minnow
Phenacobius mirabilis (Girard) – Suckermouth Minnow
Pimephales notatus (Rafinesque) – Bluntnose Minnow
Pimephales promelas Rafinesque – Fathead Minnow
Pimephales vigilax (Baird and Girard) – Bullhead Minnow
Platygobio gracilis (Richardson) – Flathead Chub X
Pteronotropis hubbsi Baily and Robison – Bluehead Shiner X
Rhinichthys atratulus (Herman) – Blacknose Dace
Rhinichthys cataractae (Valenciennes) – Longnose Dace
Semotilus atromaculatus (Mitchill) – Creek Chub
Family Cyprinidae: Carps

Carassius auratus Linnaeus – Goldfish I
Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus – Common Carp I

Family Catostomidae: Suckers

Carpiodes carpio (Rafinesque) – River Carpsucker
Carpiodes cyprinus (Lesueur) – Quillback
Carpiodes velifer (Rafinesque) – Highfin Carpsucker
Catostomus catostomus – Longnose Sucker ST
Catostomus commersonii (Lacepede) – White Sucker
Cycleptus elongatus (Lesueur) – Blue Sucker
Erimyzon claviformis (Girard) – Western Creek Chubsucker
Erimyzon sucetta (Lacepede) – Lake Chubsucker
Hypentelium nigricans (Lesueur) – Northern Hog Sucker
Ictiobus bubalus (Rafinesque) – Smallmouth Buffalo
Ictiobus cyprinellus (Valenciennes) – Bigmouth Buffalo
Ictiobus niger (Rafinesque) – Black Buffalo
Minytrema melanops (Rafinesque) – Spotted sucker
Moxostoma anisurum (Rafinesque) – Silver Redhorse
Moxostoma carinatum (Cope) – River Redhorse ST
Moxostoma duquesnei (Lesueur) – Black Redhorse
Moxostoma erythrurum (Rafinesque) – Golden Redhorse
Moxostoma macrolepidotum (Lesueur) – Shorthead Redhorse
Moxostoma valenciennesi Jordan – Greater Redhorse SE

Family Cobitidae

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Cantor) – Oriental Weatherfish I

Family Xenocypridinae: Asian Carps

Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes) – Grass Carp I
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes) – Silver Carp I
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson) – Bighead Carp I
Mylopharyngodon piecus (Richardson) – Black Carp I

Order Siluriformes

Family Ictaluridae: North American Freshwater Catfishes
Ameiurus catus (Linnaeus) – White Catfish I
Ameiurus melas (Rafinesque) – Black Bullhead
Ameiurus natalis (Lesueur) – Yellow Bullhead
Ameiurus nebulosus (Lesueur) – Brown Bullhead
Ictalurus furcatus (Lesueur) – Blue Catfish
Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque) – Channel Catfish
Noturus eleutherus Jordan – Mountain Madtom
Noturus exilis Nelson – Slender Madtom
Noturus flavus Rafinesque – Stonecat
Noturus gyrinus Mitchill – Tadpole Madtom
Noturus miurus Jordan – Brindled Madtom
Noturus nocturnus Jordan and Gilbert – Freckled Madtom
Noturus stigmosus Taylor – Northern Madtom SE
Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque) – Flathead Catfish

Order Salmoniformes

Family Esocidae: Pikes
Esox americanus Gmelin – Grass Pickerel (aka Redfin Pickerel)
Esox lucius Linnaeus – Northern Pike
Esox masquinongy Mitchill – Muskellunge
Umbra limi (Kirtland) – Central Mudminnow
Family Osmeridae: Smelts
Osmerus mordax (Mitchell) – Rainbow Smelt I
Family Salmonidae: Salmonides
Coregonus artedii Lesueur – Cisco ST
Coregonus clupeaformis (Mitchill) – Lake Whitefish
Coregonus hoyi (Gill) – Bloater
Coregonus nigripinnis (Gill) – Blacken Cisco X
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Walbaum) – Pink Salmon I
Oncorhynchus kisutch (Walbaum) – Coho Salmon I
Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) – Rainbow Trout I
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum) – Chinook Salmon I
Prosopium cylindraceum (Pallas) – Round Whitefish X
Salmo trutta Linnaeus – Brown Trout I
Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill) – Brook Trout
Salvelinus namaycush (Walbaum) – Lake Trout

Order Percopsiformes

Family Percopsidae: Trout-Perches
Percopsis omiscomaycus (Walbaum) – Trout-Perch
Family Aphredoderidae: Pirate Perches
Aphredoderus sayanus (Gilliams) – Pirate Perch
Family Amblyopsidae: Cavefishes
Forbesichthys agassizi (Putnam) – Spring Cavefish

Order Gadiformes

Family Gadidae
Lota lota (Linnaeus) – Burbot

Order Mugiliformes

Family Mugilidae
Mugil cephalus (Linnaeus) – Mullet I

Order Atheriniformes

Family Atherinopsidae: Silversides
Labidesthes sicculus (Cope) – Brook Silverside
Menidia audens (Hay) – Mississippi Siverside I

Order Cyprinodontiformes

Family Fundulidae
Fundulus catenatus (Storer) – Northern Studfish
Fundulus diaphanus (Lesueur) – Banded Killifish ST
Fundulus dispar (Agassiz) – Starhead Topminnow ST
Fundulus notatus (Rafinesque) – Blackstripe Topminnow
Fundulus olivaceus (Storer) – Blackspotted Topminnow
Family Poeciliidae
Gambusia affinis (Baird and Girard) – Western Mosquitofish

Order Gasterosteiformes

Family Gasterosteidae: Sticklebacks and Tubesnouts
Culaea inconstans (Kirtland) – Brook Stickleback
Gasterosteus aculeatus Linnaeus – Threespine Stickleback I
Pungitius pungitius (Linnaeus) – Ninespine Stickleback

Order Scorpaeniformes

Family Cottidae: Sculpins
Cottus bairdii Girard – Mottled Sculpin
Cottus carolinae (Gill) – Banded Sculpin
Cottus cognatus Richardson – Slimy Sculpin
Cottus ricei Nelson – Spoonhead Sculpin
Myoxocephalus thompsonii (Girard, 1851) – Deepwater Sculpin

Order Perciformes

Family Moronidae
Morone americana (Gmelin) – White Perch I
Morone chrysops (Rafinesque) – White Bass
Morone mississippiensis Jordan and Eigenmann – Yellow Bass
Morone saxatilis (Walbaum) – Striped Bass I
Family Centrarchidae: Sunfishes and Freshwater Basses
Ambloplites rupestris (Rafinesque) – Rock Bass
Centrarchus macropterus (Lacepede) – Flier
Lepomis cyanellus (Rafinesque) – Green Sunfish
Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus) – Pumpkinseed
Lepomis gulosus (Linnaeus) – Warmouth
Lepomis humilis (Girard) – Orangespotted Sunfish
Lepomis macrochirus Rafinesque – Bluegill
Lepomis megalotis (Rafinesque) – Longear Sunfish
Lepomis microlophus (Gunther) – Redear Sunfish
Lepomis miniatus (Jordan) – Redspotted Sunfish SE
Lepomis peltastes (Cope) – Northern Sunfish
Lepomis symmetricus Forbes – Bantam Sunfish ST
Micropterus dolomieu Lacepede – Smallmouth Bass
Micropterus punctulatus (Rafinesque) – Spotted Bass
Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) – Largemouth Bass
Pomoxis annularis Rafinesque – White Crappie
Pomoxis nigromaculatus (Lesueur) – Black Crappie
Family Percidae: Perches and Darters
Ammocrypta clara (Jordan and Meek) – Western Sand Darter SE
Ammocrypta pellucida (Putnam) – Eastern Sand Darter ST
Crystallaria asprella (Jordan) – Crystal Darter ST
Etheostoma asprigene (Forbes) – Mud Darter
Etheostoma blennioides Rafinesque – Greenside Darter
Etheostoma caeruleum Storer – Rainbow Darter
Etheostoma camurum (Cope) – Bluebreast Darter SE
Etheostoma chlorosomum (Hay) – Bluntnose Darter
Etheostoma crossopterum Braasch & Mayden – Fringed Darter
Etheostoma exile (Girard) – Iowa Darter ST
Etheostoma flabellare Rafinesque – Fantail Darter
Etheostoma gracile (Girard) – Slough Darter
Etheostoma histrio Jordan and Gilbert – Harlequin Darter SE
Etheostoma kennicotti (Putnam) – Stripetail Darter
Etheostoma microperca Jordan and Gilbert – Least Darter
Etheostoma nigrum Rafinesque – Johnny Darter
Etheostoma proeliare (Hay) – Cypress Darter
Etheostoma spectabile (Agassiz) – Orangethroat Darter
Etheostoma squamiceps Jordan – Spottail Darter
Etheostoma tippecanoe Jordan and Evermann – Tippecanoe Darter
Etheostoma zonale (Cope) – Banded Darter
Perca flavescens (Mitchill) – Yellow Perch
Percina caprodes (Rafinesque) – Logperch
Percina copelandi (Jordan) – Channel Darter
Percina evides (Jordan and Copeland) – Gilt Darter X
Percina maculata (Girard) – Blackside Darter
Percina phoxocephala (Nelson) – Slenderhead Darter
Percina sciera (Swain) – Dusky Darter
Percina shumardi (Girard) – River Darter
Percina uranidea (Jordan and Gilbert) – Stargazing Darter X
Percina vigil (Hay) – Saddleback Darter X
Sander canadensis Smith – Sauger
Sander vitreus (Mitchill) – Walleye
Family Sciaenidae: Coakers and Drums
Aplodinotus grunniens Rafinesque – Freshwater Drum
Family Elassomatidae: Pygmy Sunfishes
Elassoma zonatum Jordan – Banded Pygmy Sunfish
Family Gobiidae: Gobies
Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas) – Round Goby I

Literature Cited

Burr, B.M. 1991. The fishes of Illinois: an overview of a dynamic fauna. Pp 417-427 in L.M. Page and M.R. Jeffords, editors. Our living heritage: the biological resources of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 34. 477 pp.

Burr, B.M. and L.M. Page. 2009. Illinois fish communities: more than a century of change. Pp 147-162 in C.A. Taylor, J.B. Taft, and C.E. Warwick, editors. Canaries in the catbird seat: the past, present, and future of biological resources in a changing environment. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication 30, Champaign. 306 pp.

Burr, B.M., M.L. Warren, Jr., and K.S. Cummings. 1988. New distributional records of Illinois fishes with additions to the known fauna. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy Science 81:163-170.

Burr, B.M., D.J. Eisenhour, K.M. Cook, C.A. Taylor, G.L. Seegert, R.W. Sauer, and E.R. Atwood. 1996. Nonnative fishes in Illinois waters: what do the records reveal? Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 89:73-91.

Chick J.H., R.J. Maher, B.M. Burr, and M.R. Thomas. 2003. First black carp captured in US. Science 300:1876-1877.

Eisenhour, D.J. 1997. Distribution and systematics of Notropis wickliffi (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) in Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 90:65-78.

Hiland, T.M. and W.J. Poly. 2000. The bleeding shiner, Luxilus zonatus, in Illinois (Cyprinidae). Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 93:145-147.

Laird, C.A. and L.M.Page. 1996. Non-native fishes inhabiting the streams and lakes of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 35:1-51.

Poly, W.J. and A.K. Wilson. 1998. The fringed darter, Etheostoma crossopterum, in the Cache River Basin of Southern Illinois (Percidae: Subgenus Catonotus). Ohio Journal of Science 98:6-9.

Smith, P. W. 1979. The fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. 314 pp.

Tiemann, J.S. and M.H. Sabaj. 2012. Illinois status survey of the redside dace Clinostomus elongatus: the newest addition to the state’s native fauna. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 105:145-152.

Tiemann, J.S., B.E. Fisher, T. Thomas, J. Adams, C. Moody-Carpenter, A. Jones, and R.E. Colombo. 2021. First occurrence of the Streamline Chub Erimystax dissimilis and Tippecanoe Darter Etheostoma tippecanoe in Illinois and within the Vermilion River basin (Wabash River drainage). Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 114:35-38.

Tiemann, J.S., C.A. Taylor, D. Wylie, J. Lamer, P.W. Willink, F.M. Veraldi, S. Pescitelli, B. Lubinski, T. Thomas, R. Sauer, and B. Cantrell. 2015. Range expansions and new drainage records for select Illinois fishes. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 108:47-52.


Maps show fish deposited in the INHS Fish Collection, 1920-1999. (.GIF format)

Last updated 10/15/2021 — The following list was compiled by Chris Taylor, Dan Wylie, and Jeremy Tiemann