Freshwater fish are fish that spend some or all of their live in water with a salinity level lower than .05%. Freshwater fish, due to the segmented nature of ponds, lakes, and rivers, are subject to speciation similar to species on islands. Even though only .3% of global water is freshwater, only about 15,000 different species of freshwater fish exist. Freshwater fish make popular pets, while other, larger species, such as salmon, trout, and carp are hunted for food. Freshwater fish have undergone adaptations to survive in freshwater; such as, gills that diffuse dissolved gasses and keep salts inside, scales that reduce water diffusion, and kidneys that reclaim salt from body fluids before excretion.

What is the largest freshwater fish in the world?

The largest freshwater fish in the world is the beluga sturgeon. The beluga sturgeon can reach a length of 24 feet (7 m) and a weight of 3,500 lbs (1,500 kg). This freshwater fish has been declared endangered since 2004, due to the demand for its eggs that are sold as caviar.

What do freshwater fish eat?

The diet of a freshwater fish depends on its habitat, species, as well as the ecosystem they live in. Freshwater fish can carry a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore diet depending on their species. Carnivore freshwater fish consume other live fish, insects, larvae, and crustaceans. Herbivore freshwater fish eat plants, algae, as well as other vegetable matter.

Why can’t freshwater fish live in saltwater?

Freshwater fish can’t live in saltwater because it is too salty for them. The water inside their bodies flows out and as a result they die from dehydration. Fish need to osmoregulate or maintain the right amount of water in the bodies. Freshwater fish can only survive in accordance to how much salinity their body can handle.

Freshwater Fish

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Atlantic Salmon
Measured comparison illustration of the size of a Atlantic Salmon to a typical person

The Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is a very delicate fish, hence its presence is a good indicator of the health of an ecosystem. The fish is widespread in the Northern Atlantic oceans and surrounding rivers. Its life stage is full of unique names such as smolt, parr, fry, and alevin: depending on whether it is in the freshwater or saltwater phase.

Atlantic Salmon are members of the family Salmonidae migrating between the sea (feeding grounds) and rivers (breeding grounds). Adults are identified by their predominantly black spot above the lateral line plus highly developed teeth. Besides, they change appearance when they enter freshwater or salty water.

Atlantic Salmons have a total length between 28”-40” (71-102 cm), body height of 6.5”-9” (16.5-22.9 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-12 lb (3.6-5.4 kg). The typical lifespan of the Atlantic Salmon is 5-13 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Atlantic Salmon viewed from the front and side
The Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is a very delicate fish, hence its presence is a good indicator of the health of an ecosystem. The fish is widespread in the Northern Atlantic oceans and surrounding rivers. Its life stage is full of unique names such as smolt, parr, fry, and alevin.

Atlantic Salmons have a total length between 28”-40” (71-102 cm), body height of 6.5”-9” (16.5-22.9 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 8-12 lb (3.6-5.4 kg). The typical lifespan of the Atlantic Salmon is 5-13 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Atlantic Salmon viewed from the front and side
Atlantic Salmon
Height:
6.5”-9” | 16.5-22.9 cm
Width:
Length:
28”-40” | 71-102 cm
Depth:
Weight:
8-12 lb | 3.6-5.4 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Salmo salar
Lifespan
5-13 years

Drawings include:

Atlantic Salmon 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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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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Largemouth Bass

Depending on the region, the Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) may be called Widemouth bass, Florida bass, Green trout, and Oswego bass. They are members of the family Centrarchidae native to freshwater lakes, rivers, and brackish water bodies of eastern and central North America.

Being the largest of the black basses, it is distinguished by its greenish or olive-green body with flanks having a jagged horizontal stripe of black blotches, and lower jaws extending beyond the back edges of its eyes. Females are larger than males, with the latter building the nest during spawning. Anglers love the Largemouth Bass because of their vigorous resistance.

Largemouth Basss have a total length between 15”-30” (38-76 cm), body height of 4”-8” (10.2-20.3 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.8-30 lb (.8-13.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the Largemouth Bass is 15-20 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Largemouth Bass viewed from the front and side with length dimension
Depending on the region, the Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) may be called Widemouth bass, Florida bass, Green trout, and Oswego bass. They are members of the family Centrarchidae native to freshwater lakes, rivers, and brackish water bodies of eastern and central North America.

Largemouth Basss have a total length between 15”-30” (38-76 cm), body height of 4”-8” (10.2-20.3 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.8-30 lb (.8-13.6 kg). The typical lifespan of the Largemouth Bass is 15-20 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Largemouth Bass viewed from the front and side with length dimension
Largemouth Bass
Height:
4”-8” | 10.2-20.3 cm
Width:
Length:
15”-30” | 38-76 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.8-30 lb | .8-13.6 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Micropterus salmoides
Lifespan
15-20 years

Drawings include:

Largemouth Bass 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

Details & Downloads

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