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
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.