Fisheries Blog

Although many of us know about the common game species, the non-game species are less well known — not surprising since it is tough to observe fish in their natural habitats. Illinois has over 200 fish species occupying a wide variety of waters, ranging from large rivers to small streams, and from small ponds to Lake Michigan.

Our non-game species blog posts highlight those lesser-known Illinois species. We hope you enjoy the pictures and the information on their life histories, distribution, family ties, and other interesting facts about this fascinating group of animals.

Blog Posts:

sculpin Mottled Sculpin

Hey fish heads! This post about the Mottle Sculpin is the first in a new series of posts about Illinois' native fish species. Living almost exclusively along the bottom, Mottled Sculpins are found primarily in streams with cooler temperatures, mostly in the riffle areas. They also occur along the near shore areas of Lake Michigan.

sculpin Northern Hogsucker

Hey fish heads, here is round two of our posts about Illinois’ non-game species.  Following the unique Mottled Sculpin covered in the first post is another one of our strange and interesting species — Northern Hogsucker. 

Western Sand Darter

The Western Sand Darter is rare throughout the entire State of Illinois and is listed as an Endangered Species.

Shorthead Redhorse

Shorthead Redhorse are a member of the sucker family known as Catostomidae, which contains 75 species worldwide. Learn the distinctions that distinguish the Shorthead Redhorse from the state-listed Greater and River Redhorse.