There are many types of freshwater fish in Texas, including the state fish the Guadalupe Bass. As Texans, we are proud of our freshwater fish and we wrote about some of the interesting ones found in Texas. Here are five types of fish you can find in the freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers of Texas.
The smallmouth buffalo are found in most large streams and rivers of the Texas. This fish has a dark upper body and a pale belly, they have large scales, and a distinctive sucker mouth. They can sometimes be confused with the common carp. Smallmouth Buffalo are native to the Mississippi River from Montana to Pennsylvania.
Rio Grande Cichlid
The Rio Grande Cichlid freshwater fish in Texas is a very distinctive fish in their appearance. They have cream and turquoise colored spots, five to six anal fin spines, and adult males sometimes have a noticeable hump on their head. They are sometimes compared to tilapia and sunfishes, but are very different. Generally, Rio Grande Cichlid don’t survive in waters with a temperature below 49 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be found in spring-fed waters and heated water.
Paddlefish are very unique fish! They are the oldest surviving animal species in North America and actually resemble sharks. With a body made of cartilage and a snout one-third the length of their body, paddlefish can weigh as much as 200 pounds; however, they usually weigh around 10-15 pounds. Paddlefish have no scales and catch plankton for food. This freshwater fish has been protected by the State of Texas since 1977 and live in the deep, slow moving water of large rivers. It is unlawful to catch or harm paddlefish in Texas.
Spotted gar are designed for camouflage, with a brown upper body, silver sides, and olive-brown spots on their head, body, and fins. They grow up to 3 feet long and around 8 pounds. Spotted gar have long mouths and sharp teeth with thick diamond scales on their bodies. They are one of three gar species that are native to Texas and can be found sun bathing near the water’s surface in the low oxygen waters of Texas’ streams, swamps, and lakes. Spotted gar are eaten by alligators, some snakes, and even herons.
Blue Catfish – A Special Freshwater Fish in Texas
The blue catfish is a special freshwater fish in Texas as it is the largest freshwater sport fish known in Texas! It can reach up to 100 pounds and primarily live in large rivers. In the summer they search for cooler water temperatures by swimming upstream and they return downstream in the winter for the warmer waters.