Sunfish Family (Centrarchidae) Contains Three Black Bass Species Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Three Sunfish Bluegill, Redear, and Green Sunfish Two Crappie Species Black and White Crappie
Largemouth Bass (Micropterus Salmonoides) Most sought after game fish in N.A. Description Mouth Hinges Behind the Eye State Record 14 lbs. 12.3 ozs. Habitat Found near cover at different depths dependent on time of year Food Source Crustaceans, insects, crayfish, frogs and fish Spawning Start when water temp. is about 65oF Male builds nest Female deposits eggs between 2,000 and 7,000 per pound the male drives the female and any other intruders from the nest until the eggs hatch and the fry leave. Fry swim in schools until reaching a length of approximately 1 inch.
Small Mouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) Description Mouth hinges in front of eye State record 8 lbs. 7 ozs. Habitat Clean clear water with rocky substrate, weedy areas along shoreline, etc. Food Source Crayfish, aquatic and terrestrial insects, worms, small fish, etc. Spawning Water temp between 60 to 75O F Males build nests along gravel bars Males drive multiple females onto nests Females lay between 2,000 to 7,000 per pound Little to no parental care after hatching
Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus) Description Mouth hinges with back edge of eye Rough tongue patch State record 8 lbs. 3 ozs. Habitat Flowing streams, Deep water in lakes with rock substrate and along bluffs Food Source Crayfish and immature insects, some small fish Spawning Water temp from 63 to 68oF Males build nest on gravel or rock bottom Same as Largemouth
Bluegill (Lepomis machrochirus) Important forage species Description small mouth, black opercular (ear) flap, and a black spot at the rear base of the dorsal fin State record 2 lbs. 6 ozs. Habitat Shallow weedy areas morning and evening: deeper during day Food Source Insects, crustaceans, snails, sometimes aquatic plants Spawning Very prolific After water temp. 75oF Colony nesters Males excavate nest in sand or gravel 1 to 3 feet deep Females lay eggs (average 40,000 per season) Males drive away females and guard nest until a few days after hatch
Redear Sunfish (Lepomis michrolophis) Description Bright red spot on opercula flap State record 2 lbs. 1 oz. Habitat Usually clear vegetated water Food Source Insects, crustaceans, snails Spawning Similar to bluegill Water temp around 66 to 70oF Not as prolific
Green sunfish (Lepomis Cyanellus) Description Elongated body Large mouth State record 2 lbs. 7 ozs. Habitat Rocky areas with lots of cover Well adapted to fluctuating conditions Food Source Insects, crustaceans, snails Spawning Same as other sunfish
White Crappie (Poxomis annularis) Description Distinct vertical bands 5 to 6 bony spines along dorsal fin State record 4 lbs. 15 ozs. Habitat Standing timber and brush Shallow in spring deep in winter Food Source Minnows, shad, crayfish, mollusks, and insects Spawning Very prolific Similar to other sunfish (deeper water) Water temp around 65o Females lay 3,000 to 15,000 eggs
Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) Description No vertical bars 7 to 8 bony spines on dorsal fin State record 4 lbs. 10 ozs. Habitat food source and spawning same as white
Catfish Family (Ictaluridae) Blue, Channel, and Flathead Catfish Spawning Cavity nesters (under rocks logs holes in bank etc. Water temp. around 75o Males fan out nest Females lay about 10,000 eggs Males guard nest and fry Food Source Blues and channels are omnivorous ( feed on anything Flatheads primarily on live fish and crayfish
Blue Catfish (Ictalus furcatus) Description Straight anal fin and forked Tail State record 118 lbs 8oz Habitat Found in large rivers and major reservoirs, blue catfish generally prefer areas with sand, gravel or rock bottoms Found state wide
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctuatus) Description Rounded anal fin forked tail State record 35 lbs 15 ozs Habitat Found in deep holes and all depths Found state wide
Flathead catfish (Pylodictus olivaris) Description Obvious flat head and an unforked tail State Record 106 lbs Habitat Flatheads are found near cover in deep holes
White Bass (Morone chrysops) State fish Description Arched back and unbroken vertical lines State record 5 lbs 4 ozs. Habitat Adults prefer open water over sandy shoals during the day and shallows at night. Food Source Shad, minnows crustaceans, and insects Spawning Prefer upstream migration (release eggs into current) Water temp 50 to 55oF At random over weeds and rocks so eggs don’t settle in mud No Parental Care
Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) Stripers were originally a marine Description or estuarine species. An Back not arched strong unbroken anadromous spawner (ascends lines State Record 47 lbs 8 ozs. freshwater streams to spawn), Habitat striped bass became landlocked Cruise in large schools in open in an artificial impoundment near water the Atlantic coast. They adapted Food Source so well to that environment that Insects, shad and minnows many states, including Spawning Oklahoma, began transplanting Water temp ranges from 55 to 70oF Females may have up to 5 million stripers. Striped bass can reach eggs weights of 40 pounds or more. Eggs are semi-bouyant Require moving unobstructed river for eggs remain viable Males and females release eggs at same time in current
Striped Bass Hybrid(Morone The first Oklahoma stocking chryops x Morone Saxatilis) of striped bass hybrids was in Description Sooner Lake in 1977. Back slightly arched and has broken Subsequent stockings have lines also shape of tongue patch been made in lakes 23 lbs 4 ozs. statewide including Konawa, Habitat Optima, Ft. Supply, Tom Prefer similar areas as Striped and Steed, Altus-Lugert, White Bass Overholser, Grand, Heyburn, Spawning Cross between male white bass and Atoka, Ft. Cobb, Salt Plains, female Striped bass Waurika and Ellsworth. Striped bass female because of egg capacity
Walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) Distribution originated from Description introductions made during the No scales on cheek patch no spots on early 1950s in Canton and dorsa State Record 12 lbs. 13 oz. Tenkiller lakes. Since that time, Habitat adult walleye have been near the bottom on sand bars or near ledges and drop-offs trapped (primarily from Canton Food Source Lake), their eggs taken by Insects, larvae, nightcrawlers, crayfish, hand stripping, fertilized and snails and small fish. hatched in state fish Spawning hatcheries. Most major lakes in Water temps 45 to 50oF Oklahoma have been 25,000 to 50,000 eggs per pound of body weight stocked. Best populations are Males and females spawn simultaneously in the western half of the state. Eggs fall between rip rap and crevices to hatch
Sauger(Sander canadensis) Description Dark spots on dorsal fin, cheek covered in scales, dark blotches on body State Record 5 lbs. 5 oz. Habitat river and stream fish preferring the clear eastern river. Food Source Adults feed largely on fish, the young mainly taking invertebrates and small fish. Spawning Similar to Walleye (done only at night) Found in the Poteau, Illinois, Red and Neosho rivers in Oklahoma and in several lakes and reservoirs around the state.
Saugeye (male sauger x female walleye) Description State record 10 lbs. 10 oz. Habitat congregate near the bottom on sand bars or near ledges and drop-offs. Food Source eat fish, almost exclusively, from the time they are stocked. The first saugeye stocking in Oklahoma was in Lake Thunderbird during May 1985. Since this initial stocking many other state lakes have been stocked with saugeye, including Burtschi, Carl Blackwell, Ellsworth, Fort Cobb, Foss, Great Salt Plains, Hall, Holdenville, Lawtonka, Pine Creek, Shawnee Lakes, Sooner, Tom Steed, Vanderwork, and Waurika.
Rainbow Trout(Oncorhynchus myKiss) State Record 10 lbs. 4 oz. Habitat In streams around riffles eddies, exposed obsructions Food Source Aquatic insects Spawning Water temp 40 to 45oF on gravel bottoms Swim up stream to traditional spawning grounds Incubation takes 50 days at 50oF Has been some recent documentation of Natural Reproduction Although originally a cold-water fish from the pacific drainage of the Rocky Mountains, rainbow trout do well in Oklahoma where water temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen are within their tolerance levels.
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) State Record 17 lbs. 4.6 ozs. Habitat In shade of bank or overhanging vegetation during day Food Source Aquatic insects, mollusks, and small fish Spawning Water temp. 44 to 48oF in the fall Run up tributaries to spawn Incubation takes 48 to 52 days at 51oF Originally from Europe in the Danube River. Introduced in the US in 1865
Paddle fish (Polyodon spathula) State record 125 lbs. 7 ozs. They can live up to 30-35 years ranging throughout the U.S. In Oklahoma, they are found mainly in the Grand, Neosho and Arkansas River systems Food Source One of Oklahoma’s largest fish, the paddlefish feeds on tiny zooplankton (microscopic insects) and, like a shark, it has a completely cartilaginous skeletal system. The rostrum is used as a electro sensory organ to detect zooplankton Spawning Male paddlefish are old enough to spawn when they are four to nine years. Females spawn when they are 6-12 years old. Spawning season is from March through June, when spring rains raise the water levels of rivers and water temperatures reach 50-60 degrees. Males and females gather in schools and release their eggs over gravel or sandbars. This is called "broadcast spawning."
Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) Description – A potentially very large gar (world record over 300 pounds, not from Oklahoma) but has short, broad snout with two rows of teeth on the upper jaw. Small alligator gar may be distinguished from other gar by the blackish band along the midside and a narrow, white stripe along midline of back. State record 192 lbs. 1oz Habitat warm water and large sluggish rivers such as the Red River that flows into Lake Texoma. Food Sources primarily on fish but is known to eat ducks and other water birds Spawning Although complete life history information is lacking, it is believed that alligator gar spawn in early May in Oklahoma, probably in a manner similar to other gar.