Freshwater is a vital and scarce resource on our planet with only 3% of the water on Earth being freshwater rivers and lakes, the rest being oceans. Freshwater rivers and lakes are formed when hollows are made in the Earth, such as when land collapses after a magma flow allowing for rainwater or melted snow to flow through and accumulate in the empty space. However, even though freshwater biomes are not expansive, they are still home to over 100,000 different species of plants and animals. Many amphibian species, such as turtles, frogs, and alligators, live in freshwater biomes. Mammals, such as otters and beavers, live in freshwater biomes too, with many more mammals stopping by a river or lake for a drink.

Freshwater Animals Guides
Browse through our curated Freshwater Animals Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Freshwater Animals. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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7”-9” | 17.8-22.9 cm
5’-6.5’ | 1.5-2 m
50-125 lb | 22.7-56.7 kg
20-50 years
Alligator Gar
22.900
200.000
56.700
50.00
72000
3D
Alligator Gar
8.5”-11.5” | 21.6-29.2 cm
5’-7’ | 1.52-2.13 m
60-200 lb | 27-91 kg
20-30 years
American Paddlefish
29.200
213.000
91.000
30.00
21000
3D
American Paddlefish
5”-6.75” | 12.7-17.1 cm
19”-24” | 48-61 cm
3-8 lb | 1.4-3.6 kg
6-10 years
American Shad
17.100
61.000
3.600
10.00
4500
3D
American Shad
2.5”-4” | 6.4-10.2 cm
12”-20” | 30.5-51 cm
2-4 lb | .9-1.8 kg
5-10 years
Arctic Grayling
10.200
51.000
1.800
10.00
3500
3D
Arctic Grayling
6.5”-9” | 16.5-22.9 cm
28”-40” | 71-102 cm
8-12 lb | 3.6-5.4 kg
5-13 years
Atlantic Salmon
22.900
102.000
5.400
13.00
13000
3D
Atlantic Salmon
1.5”-3.75” | 3.8-9.5 cm
4”-11” | 10-28 cm
3-4 lb | 1.4-1.8 kg
7-15 years
Black Crappie
9.500
28.000
1.800
15.00
6800
3D
Black Crappie
3”-6.5” | 7.6-16.5 cm
7”-16” | 18-41 cm
1-2.6 lb | .5-1.2 kg
5-10 years
Bluegill
16.500
41.000
1.200
10.00
33000
3D
Bluegill
2”-5.5” | 5-14 cm
10”-26” | 25-66 cm
.6-6.6 lb | .3-3 kg
5-15 years
Brook Trout
14.000
66.000
3.000
15.00
24000
3D
Brook Trout
5”-7” | 12.7-17.8 cm
24”-34” | 61-86 cm
3-9 lb | 1.4-4 kg
5-12 years
Bull Trout
17.800
86.000
4.000
12.00
5600
3D
Bull Trout
2”-4.5” | 5-11.4 cm
12”-24” | 30.5-61 cm
2-7 lb | .9-3.2 kg
15-25 years
Channel Catfish
11.400
61.000
3.200
25.00
19000
3D
Channel Catfish
5.5”-8.5” | 14-21.6 cm
24”-36” | 61-91 cm
30-40 lb | 13.6-18.1 kg
5-9 years
Chinook Salmon
21.600
91.000
18.100
9.00
17000
3D
Chinook Salmon
6”-10” | 15.2-25.4 cm
24”-40” | 61-102 cm
8-22 lb | 3.6-10 kg
3-7 years
Chum Salmon
25.400
102.000
10.000
7.00
6200
3D
Chum Salmon
4.5”-7.5” | 11.4-19 cm
18”-30” | 46-76 cm
8-35 lb | 3.6-16 kg
2-4 years
Coho Salmon
19.000
76.000
16.000
4.00
20000
3D
Coho Salmon
54.0"-78.0" (4’6"-6'6") | 1.4-2 m
114.0"-168.0" (9’6"-14’) | 2.9-4.3 m
3,100-8,800 lb | 1,500-4,000 kg
40-50 years
Hippopotamus
200.000
430.000
4000.000
50.00
84000
3D
Hippopotamus
5.5”-11” | 14-28 cm
36”-72” | 91-183 cm
30-100 lb | 13.6-45.4 kg
55-150 years
Lake Sturgeon
28.000
183.000
45.400
150.00
7300
3D
Lake Sturgeon
4”-7” | 10.2-17.8 cm
20”-36” | 51-91 cm
4-22 lb | 1.8-10 kg
10-40 years
Lake Trout
17.800
91.000
10.000
40.00
14000
3D
Lake Trout
4”-8” | 10.2-20.3 cm
15”-30” | 38-76 cm
1.8-30 lb | .8-13.6 kg
15-20 years
Largemouth Bass
20.300
76.000
13.600
20.00
42000
3D
Largemouth Bass
3.5”-6.5” | 8.9-16.5 cm
28”-48” | 71-122 cm
10-40 lb | 4.5-18.1 kg
15-30 years
Muskellunge
16.500
122.000
18.100
30.00
10000
3D
Muskellunge
Muskrat
106000
4.5”-6.7” | 11.5-17 cm
10”-15” | 25-38 cm
1.5-4.5 lb | .7-2 kg
2-4 years (wild); up to 10 years (captivity)
Muskrat
17.000
38.000
2.000
10.00
106000
3D
Muskrat
14.2”-16.9” | 36-43 cm
29”-35” | 74-89 cm
25-75 lb | 11.3-34 kg
10-15 years (wild); 15-25 years (captivity)
North American Beaver
43.000
89.000
34.000
25.00
3500
3D
North American Beaver
2.25”-3.75” | 5.7-9.5 cm
16”-26” | 41-66 cm
1.5-4 lb | .7-1.8 kg
10-25 years
Northern Pike
9.500
66.000
1.800
25.00
30000
3D
Northern Pike
4.5”-7” | 11.4-17.8 cm
20”-30” | 51-76 cm
2-8 lb | .9-3.6 kg
4-11 years
Rainbow Trout
17.800
76.000
3.600
11.00
19000
3D
Rainbow Trout
14’-23’ | 4.25-7 m (Male); 7.5’-11’ | 2.30-3.35 m (Female)
880-2200 lb | 400-1000 kg (Male); 180-220 lb | 82-100 kg (Female)
70-100 (wild); 100-120 (captivity)
Saltwater Crocodile
700.000
1000.000
120.00
31000
3D
Saltwater Crocodile
2.5”-6.5” | 6.4-16.5 cm
10”-27” | 25-69 cm
.8-12 lb | .4-5.4 kg
5-15 years
Smallmouth Bass
16.500
69.000
5.400
15.00
26000
3D
Smallmouth Bass
5.5”-15.5” | 14-39.4 cm
20”-55” | 51-140 cm
5-70 lb | 2.3-32 kg
20-30 years
Striped Bass
39.400
140.000
32.000
30.00
32000
3D
Striped Bass
Walleye
58000
4.5”-8.5” | 11.4-21.6 cm
22”-42” | 56-107 cm
3-7 lb | 1.4-3.2 kg
15-25 years
Walleye
21.600
107.000
3.200
25.00
58000
3D
Walleye
2.5”-5.5” | 6.4-14 cm
10”-18” | 25-46 cm
2-5 lb | .9-2.3 kg
4-9 years
White Bass
14.000
46.000
2.300
9.00
15000
3D
White Bass
1”-2.5” | 2.5-6.4 cm
4”-10” | 10-25 cm
.5-1 lb | .2-.5 kg
7-13 years
Yellow Perch
6.400
25.000
0.500
13.00
12000
3D
Yellow Perch
Brook Trout

The Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are also called Eastern brook trout, mud trout, squaretail, and brook charr. It is a freshwater salmon fish to the family Salmonidae and native to Eastern North America but recently introduced in some parts of Europe and Asia. Brook trout are migratory fish with some reproducing in freshwater and spending their adult life in ocean water.

Brook Trout love areas with a spring-fed stream with sand and gravel. The animal can mate with relatively similar species to produce a hybrid. They are identified by their dark green to brown color, body with lighter shades but highly recognizable marble pattern.

Brook Trouts have a total length between 10”-26” (25-66 cm), body height of 2”-5.5” (5-14 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .6-6.6 lb (.3-3 kg). The typical lifespan of the Brook Trout is 5-15 years.

Dimensioned pair of elevation illustrations of the Brook Trout seen from the side and front
The Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are also called Eastern brook trout, mud trout, squaretail, and brook charr. It is a freshwater salmon fish to the family Salmonidae and native to Eastern North America but recently introduced in some parts of Europe and Asia. Brook trout are migratory fish.

Brook Trouts have a total length between 10”-26” (25-66 cm), body height of 2”-5.5” (5-14 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .6-6.6 lb (.3-3 kg). The typical lifespan of the Brook Trout is 5-15 years.

Dimensioned pair of elevation illustrations of the Brook Trout seen from the side and front
Brook Trout
Height:
2”-5.5” | 5-14 cm
Width:
Length:
10”-26” | 25-66 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.6-6.6 lb | .3-3 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Salvelinus fontinalis
Lifespan
5-15 years

Drawings include:

Brook Trout side elevation, front

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Smallmouth Bass

The Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) are popular game fish of the family Centrarchidae that love the freshwater bodies of the warm zones of North America. It is also called bronzeback, brownbass, bareback bass, bronze bass, and smallie. Females are larger than males with the fish’s color, shape, and weight being influenced by their habitats.

They love clean water free of pollution, with males creating the nest during breeding and guarding the eggs. The Smallmouth Bass is separated from the largemouth bass by its lower jaw, which does not extend past the edge of its eyes and lines that fade with age.

Smallmouth Basss have a total length between 10”-27” (25-69 cm), body height of 2.5”-6.5” (6.4-16.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .8-12 lb (.4-5.4 kg). The typical lifespan of the Smallmouth Bass is 5-15 years.

Pair of dimensioned elevation illustrations of the Smallmouth Bass seen from the side and front
The Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) are popular game fish of the family Centrarchidae that love the freshwater bodies of the warm zones of North America. It is also called bronzeback, brownbass, bareback bass, bronze bass, and smallie. They love clean water free of pollution.

Smallmouth Basss have a total length between 10”-27” (25-69 cm), body height of 2.5”-6.5” (6.4-16.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .8-12 lb (.4-5.4 kg). The typical lifespan of the Smallmouth Bass is 5-15 years.

Pair of dimensioned elevation illustrations of the Smallmouth Bass seen from the side and front
Smallmouth Bass
Height:
2.5”-6.5” | 6.4-16.5 cm
Width:
Length:
10”-27” | 25-69 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.8-12 lb | .4-5.4 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Micropterus dolomieu
Lifespan
5-15 years

Drawings include:

Smallmouth Bass side elevation, front

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Saltwater Crocodile
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of a Saltwater Crocodile compared to an average person

The Saltwater Crocodile, also known as the estuarine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, marine crocodile, sea crocodile, and saltie, is one of the largest living crocodiles. It is native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands including India’s east coast across Southeast Asia and the Sundaic region to northern Australia and Micronesia. The saltwater crocodile was hunted for its skin up until the 1970s, and today it is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List. The species are hypercarnivorous apex predators, and they can overtake almost any animal that enters their territory. Saltwater crocodiles range in color with some retaining pale skin, while others may be so dark to appear black.

The typical male Saltwater Crocodile has an overall length of 14’-23’ (4.25-7 m), with females at lengths of 7.5’-11’ (2.30-3.35 m). An average male Saltwater Crocodile weighs between 880-2200 lb (400-1000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 70-100 years in the wild.

Aerial plan view drawing of a Saltwater Crocodile walking
The Saltwater Crocodile is one of the largest living crocodiles. Saltwater Crocodiles are native to saltwater habitats and are hypercarnivorous apex predators, that can overtake almost any animal that enters their territory. Saltwater crocodiles range in color from pale to dark skin.

The typical male Saltwater Crocodile has an overall length of 14’-23’ (4.25-7 m), with females at lengths of 7.5’-11’ (2.30-3.35 m). An average male Saltwater Crocodile weighs between 880-2200 lb (400-1000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 70-100 years in the wild.

Aerial plan view drawing of a Saltwater Crocodile walking
Saltwater Crocodile
Height:
Width:
Length:
14’-23’ | 4.25-7 m (Male); 7.5’-11’ | 2.30-3.35 m (Female)
Depth:
Weight:
880-2200 lb | 400-1000 kg (Male); 180-220 lb | 82-100 kg (Female)
Area:
Speed
15-18 mph | 24-29 km/h
Scientific Name
Crocodylus porosus
Lifespan
70-100 (wild); 100-120 (captivity)

Drawings include:
Saltwater Crocodile side elevation, side (person), plan

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Chum Salmon
Scale illustration of an average Chum Salmon with dimensions length compared to a human

The Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) are anadromous fish that are members of the family Salmonidae and number two after the Chinook salmon in size. The animal’s body color transforms as it enters either fresh or ocean water. They are also called dog salmon or keta salmon and spend very little time in freshwater, unlike the Chinook and Coho.

Chum Salmon inhabit the waters of the North Pacific and Arctic oceans having late spawning runs which make them less popular in sportfishing. The animal spots a deeper body with males at spawning time being more vivid than females, have elongated snouts, white tip on their lower fins, and large canine teeth.

Chum Salmon have a total length between 24”-40” (61-102 cm), body height of 6”-10” (15.2-25.4 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-22 lb (3.6-10 kg). The typical lifespan of the Chum Salmon is 3-7 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Chum Salmon seen from the side and front
The Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) are anadromous fish that are members of the family Salmonidae and number two after the Chinook salmon in size. The animal’s body color transforms as it enters either fresh or ocean water. They are also called dog salmon or keta salmon.

Chum Salmon have a total length between 24”-40” (61-102 cm), body height of 6”-10” (15.2-25.4 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-22 lb (3.6-10 kg). The typical lifespan of the Chum Salmon is 3-7 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Chum Salmon seen from the side and front
Chum Salmon
Height:
6”-10” | 15.2-25.4 cm
Width:
Length:
24”-40” | 61-102 cm
Depth:
Weight:
8-22 lb | 3.6-10 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Oncorhynchus keta
Lifespan
3-7 years

Drawings include:

Chum Salmon side elevation, front

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North American Beaver
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of the North American Beaver compared to an average person

Scientifically known as Castor canadensis and known best for its dam building, the North American Beaver is a semi-aquatic rodent physically distinguished by its broad, flat tail. It is identified as the largest rodent in North America and the second largest in the world just behind the capybara.

The purpose of dam building is to create a deep pond in which the beaver can establish its home. The dam is constructed across streams and consists of a pile of sticks with underwater entrances as the beaver is a skillful swimmer. The home or burrow is then made out of sticks and twigs as well.

North American Beavers have a height of 14.2”-16.9” (36-43 cm), body length between 29”-35” (74-89 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 25-75 lb (11.3-34 kg). The tail length of a North American Beaver is 7.9”-13.8” (20-35 cm). North American Beavers have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 15-25 years in captivity.

Collection of scaled drawings of the North American Beaver in various standing poses
Scientifically known as Castor canadensis and known best for its dam building, the North American Beaver is a semi-aquatic rodent physically distinguished by its broad, flat tail. It is identified as the largest rodent in North America and the second largest in the world just behind the capybara.

North American Beavers have a height of 14.2”-16.9” (36-43 cm), body length between 29”-35” (74-89 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 25-75 lb (11.3-34 kg). The tail length of a North American Beaver is 7.9”-13.8” (20-35 cm). North American Beavers have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 15-25 years in captivity.

Collection of scaled drawings of the North American Beaver in various standing poses
North American Beaver
Height:
14.2”-16.9” | 36-43 cm
Width:
Length:
29”-35” | 74-89 cm
Depth:
Weight:
25-75 lb | 11.3-34 kg
Area:
Tail Length
7.9”-13.8” | 20-35 cm
Scientific Name
Castor canadensis
Lifespan
10-15 years (wild); 15-25 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

North American Beaver side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (sitting), back (sitting)

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