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
Black Crappie

The Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) is also called moonfish, Crappie, grass bass, and strawberry bass. It is primarily a recreational fish that love to feed in the wee hours of the morning in schools. It loves swimming around sheltered areas with a prevalent food source and away from predation by enemies.

The Black Crappie are members of the family Centrarchidae, native to freshwater lakes, reservoirs, and rivers of North America. The fish is identified by its gills covering having spines, a deeper body lacking distinct vertical bars but with irregular black blotches and a dorsal fin with 7 to 8 spines that differentiate it from the White Crappie.

Black Crappies have a total length between 4”-11” (10-28 cm), body height of 1.5”-3.75” (3.8-9.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 3-4 lb (1.4-1.8 kg). The typical lifespan of the Black Crappie is 7-15 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Black Crappie in front and side poses
The Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) is also called moonfish, Crappie, grass bass, and strawberry bass. It is primarily a recreational fish that love to feed in the wee hours of the morning in schools. It loves swimming around sheltered areas with a prevalent food source and away from enemies.

Black Crappies have a total length between 4”-11” (10-28 cm), body height of 1.5”-3.75” (3.8-9.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 3-4 lb (1.4-1.8 kg). The typical lifespan of the Black Crappie is 7-15 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Black Crappie in front and side poses
Black Crappie
Height:
1.5”-3.75” | 3.8-9.5 cm
Width:
Length:
4”-11” | 10-28 cm
Depth:
Weight:
3-4 lb | 1.4-1.8 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Pomoxis nigromaculatus
Lifespan
7-15 years

Drawings include:

Black Crappie 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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American Shad

The American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) is a fish loved for three primary reasons. First, for its roe. Second for its meat rich in omega-3 fatty acid and third, for recreational purposes like sport fishing and the annual shad festival. The fish inhabits the coastal waters of North America preferring to spend most of its time in the Atlantic ocean and only migrate to freshwater when it wants to spawn. The American Shad is also called Atlantic shad, herring jacks, or Potomac shad. They are classified under the family Clupeidae and recognized by their distinct keel on the belly, moderately compressed bodies, and sharp saw-like scales.

American Shad have a total length between 19”-24” (48-61 cm), body height of 5”-6.75” (12.7-17.1 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 3-8 lb (1.4-3.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the American Shad is 6-10 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Shad in front and side poses
The American Shad (Alosa sapidissima) is a fish loved for three primary reasons. First, for its roe. Second for its meat rich in omega-3 fatty acid and third, for recreational purposes like sport fishing and the annual shad festival. The fish inhabits the coastal waters of North America.

American Shad have a total length between 19”-24” (48-61 cm), body height of 5”-6.75” (12.7-17.1 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 3-8 lb (1.4-3.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the American Shad is 6-10 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of American Shad in front and side poses
American Shad
Height:
5”-6.75” | 12.7-17.1 cm
Width:
Length:
19”-24” | 48-61 cm
Depth:
Weight:
3-8 lb | 1.4-3.6 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Alosa sapidissima
Lifespan
6-10 years

Drawings include:

American Shad side elevation, front

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Lake Trout

The Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) is loved both as a food fish and game fish. It features in the annual lake trout fishing derby of the people of Geneva and New York. The fish prefers cold freshwater lakes and rivers in northern North America.

Lake Trout are also called mackinaw, Lake char, and grey trout, and are members of the family Salmonidae distinguished by its deeply forked caudal fin, greenish body, and yellow or cream spots on its head, body, caudal, and dorsal fin. They are the largest char members having later maturity and both low reproduction and growth potential.

Lake Trout have a total length between 20”-36” (51-91 cm), body height of 4”-7” (10.2-17.8 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 4-22 lb (1.8-10 kg). The typical lifespan of the Lake Trout is 10-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Lake Trout in front and side poses
The Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) is loved both as a food fish and game fish. It features in the annual lake trout fishing derby of the people of Geneva and New York. The fish prefers cold freshwater lakes and rivers in northern North America.

Lake Trout have a total length between 20”-36” (51-91 cm), body height of 4”-7” (10.2-17.8 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 4-22 lb (1.8-10 kg). The typical lifespan of the Lake Trout is 10-40 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Lake Trout in front and side poses
Lake Trout
Height:
4”-7” | 10.2-17.8 cm
Width:
Length:
20”-36” | 51-91 cm
Depth:
Weight:
4-22 lb | 1.8-10 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Salvelinus namaycush
Lifespan
10-40 years

Drawings include:

Lake Trout side elevation, front

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Coho Salmon

The Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) is also called the Silver salmon or “silvers” and inhabits the North Pacific oceans, rivers, and coastal streams of Alaska and California. They belong to the family Salmonidae with adults having lighter bellies, silversides, and metallic blue backs. As an anadromous fish, the Coho Salmon shows distinct color patterns when in freshwater and ocean water.

Juveniles also show different color patterns when compared to adults. Coho Salmon are distinguished by their white gums, lower lobes having black spots, and large beaks during spawning in males. The indigenous people saw the fish as a representation of life and sustenance.

Coho Salmons have a total length between 18”-30” (46-76 cm), body height of 4.5”-7.5” (11.4-19 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-35 lb (3.6-16 kg). The typical lifespan of the Coho Salmon is 2-4 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Coho Salmon viewed from the front and side
The Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) is also called the Silver salmon or “silvers” and inhabits the North Pacific oceans, rivers, and coastal streams of Alaska and California. They belong to the family Salmonidae with adults having lighter bellies, silversides, and metallic blue backs.

Coho Salmons have a total length between 18”-30” (46-76 cm), body height of 4.5”-7.5” (11.4-19 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-35 lb (3.6-16 kg). The typical lifespan of the Coho Salmon is 2-4 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Coho Salmon viewed from the front and side
Coho Salmon
Height:
4.5”-7.5” | 11.4-19 cm
Width:
Length:
18”-30” | 46-76 cm
Depth:
Weight:
8-35 lb | 3.6-16 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Oncorhynchus kisutch
Lifespan
2-4 years

Drawings include:

Coho Salmon side elevation, front

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