Fishes of West Virginia

West Virginia’s waters are blessed with a variety of fish resources, including 178 species and 3 hybrid sport fishes distributed among 24 different families.  Interestingly, approximately 20 percent are sport fishes, 80% are nongame fishes and 75% are found in just five families: (60-species) of carps and minnows, (31) perch, (18) suckers, (14) bass and sunfish and (12) catfish. The list of fishes that follows is a compilation of the presently known species in West Virginia and the watersheds where they are generally found.  This list was generated from the Fishes of WV: A Field Checklist available from DNR's Natural Heritage Program(R) symbol indicates rare, uncommon, undetermined status or limited range. 

Family names

Common names


(O) Lake sturgeon R; Shovelnose sturgeon R


(O) Bowfin


(NOP) American eel


(NOP) Brook silverside


(O) Bigmouth buffalo R; Black buffalo R; Black redhorse; Blue sucker R; Highfin carpsucker R; Longnose sucker R; Quillback; River carpsucker; River redhorse; Silver redhorse; Smallmouth buffalo; Spotted sucker; (P) Creek chubsucker; (OP) Shorthead redhorse; (NOP) Golden redhorse; Torrent sucker; (JNOP) Northern hog sucker; White sucker


(O) Orange spotted sunfish; Redear sunfish; Warmouth; (NO) Spotted bass; (NOP) Black crappie; White crappie; Longear sunfish; (JNOP) Pumpkinseed; Redbreast sunfish; Bluegill; Green sunfish; Largemouth bass; Rock bass; Smallmouth bass 


(O) Gizzard shad; Skipjack herring; Threadfin shad; (NO) Alewife


(N) Banded sculpin R; Bluestone sculpin; (P) Potomac sculpin; Slimy sculpin R; (JNOP) Mottled sculpin


(O) Bigmouth chub; Kanawha minnow R; New River shiner R; Rudd minnow; (N) Bigeye chub; Bighead carp; Bigmouth shiner R; Bullhead minnow R; Central stoneroller; Channel shiner; Cheat minnow R; Comely shiner; Ghost shiner; Mississippi silvery minnow R; Popeye Shiner R; Pugnose minnow R; Redfin shiner; Redside dace R; River shiner; Rosefin shiner R; Silver chub; Southern redbelly dace; Speckled chub; Steelcolor shiner; Suckermouth minnow; (P) Eastern silvery minnow R; Fallfish; Satinfin shiner R; Swallowtail shiner; (JN) Bluehead chub; Mountain redbelly dace; (NO) Mimic shiner; Sand shinerSilver shiner; Silverjaw minnow; Streamline chub; Striped shiner; Tonguetied minnow R; White shiner; Whitetail shiner; (OP) Pearl dace R; (JNO) Blueside shiner R; Telescope shiner; (JNP) Cutlips minnow; (JOP) River chub; Common shiner; (NOP) Bluntnose minnow; Emerald shiner; Fathead minnow; Goldfish; Grass carp; Spotfin shiner; Spottail shiner; (JNOP) Blacknose daceCommon carp; Creek chub; Golden shiner; Longnose dace; Rosyface shiner; Rosyside dace


(O) Grass pickerel; (P) Redfin pickerel R; (NP) Chain pickerel; (OP) Northern pike; (NOP) Hybrid tiger musky; Muskellunge


(O) Northern studfish; (P) Mummichog; (OP) Banded killifish R


(O) Brook stickleback


(O) Goldeye R; Mooneye


(O) Brindled madtom; Mountain madtom R; Northern madtom R; White catfishBlue catfish R; (NO) Black bullheadFlathead catfish; Stonecat; (NOP) Brown bullhead; Yellow bullhead; (JOP) Margined madtom; (JNOP) Channel catfish;


(O) Longnose gar


(O) White perch; (NO) Striped bass; White bass; (NOP) Hybrid striped bass


(O) Stripeback darter R; (J) Appalachia darter R; Snub-nosed darter; Candy darter R; (N) Banded darter; Blackside darter; Bluebreast darter; Channel darter; Crystal darter R; Dusky darter; Eastern sand darter; Gilt darter R; Longhead darter R; Sauger; Slenderhead darter; Spotted darter R; River darter R; Tippecanoe darter; Variegate darter; (P) Longfin darter R; Shield darter; Tessellated darter; (JN) Roanoke darter; (NO) Logperch; Sharpnose darter; (JNO) Johnny darter; (NOP) Greenside darter; Rainbow darter; Walleye; Yellow perch; (JNOP) Fantail darter


(O) Trout perch


(O) American brook lamprey; Northern brook lamprey; Mountain brook lamprey; Ohio lamprey R; Silver lamprey R; (NO) Least brook lamprey


(NO) Eastern mosquitofish


(O) Paddlefish


(P) Cutthroat trout; (JNOP) Brook trout; Brown trout; Golden trout; Rainbow trout


(O) Freshwater drum


(O) Central mudminnow

Anatomical features  Bass, Catfish  Fish glossary
The abbreviations are for the greater Ohio (O), New (N), Potomac (P) and James (J) river watersheds.  The drainage indicated does not necessarily mean that the fish is found in all minor or major tributaries.  Different habitat preferences will dictate where the fishes will be located.  Note: (R) indicates rare, uncommon, undetermined status or limited range. 
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