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Other Fish

Fish in Alabama that are not Cypriniformes (minnows, carps and suckers) nor Perciformes (sunfish, temperate bass and perch)


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CLASS CEPHALASPIDOMORPHI
Order Petromyzontiformes

Lampreys - Family Petromyzontidae

Ohio Lamprey Ichthyomyzon bdellium. Uncommon and localized parasitic species in Tennessee River drainage whose distribution is problematic. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Chestnut Lamprey Ichthyomyzon castaneus. A widespread and sometimes fairly common parasitic species found most frequently in larger streams and rivers of the Mobile River Basin and Tennessee River drainage. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Southern Brook Lamprey Ichthyomyzon gagei. A widespread but uncommon nonparasitic species of small streams and headwaters in the Mobile River Basin and coastal drainages; less frequent in the Tennessee River drainage. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Mountain Brook Lamprey Ichthyomyzon greeleyi. A localized and rare nonparasitic species known only in Alabama from Shoal Creek, a Tennessee River tributary in Lauderdale County. Widespread north of Alabama. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Least Brook Lamprey Lampetra aepyptera. A widespread, nonparasitic species common throughout small streams and headwater branches in the Mobile River Basin, Tennessee River, and Conecuh River drainages. Lowest Conservation Concern.

American Brook Lamprey Lampetra appendix. Distribution of this uncommon to rare nonparasitic species poorly known. Found only in the Bear Creek and Piney Creek systems in the Tennessee River drainage. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

CLASS CHONDRICHTHYES
Order Carcharhiniformes
Requiem Sharks - Family Carcharhinidae

Bull Shark Carcharhinus leucas. Occasionally encountered in the lower reaches of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta and Mobile River. Lowest Conservation Concern.

CLASS ACTINOPTERYGII
Order Acipenseriformes
Sturgeons - Family Acipenseridae

Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. Records known only from the Tennessee and Coosa Rivers but apparently extirpated for more than 50 years. Currently being reintroduced to upper Coosa basin in Georgia and now occurs in Weiss Reservoir. Extirpated/Conservation Action Underway.

Gulf Sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi. Made seasonal migration runs to above the Fall Line in many rivers of Alabama prior to their impoundment. Spawning populations known in the Choctawhatchee and Yellow Rivers and occasional individuals caught or sighted in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta and lower Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers. Listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Shovelnose Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus. The few historical records of this species in Alabama are from the Tennessee River prior to impoundment. The lack of collections in more than 50 years likely means this species is extirpated. Extirpated.

Alabama Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus suttkusi. Endemic to the lower Alabama, Tombigbee, and Cahaba Rivers, and is one of the rarest vertebrates in the state. Listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Paddlefishes - Family Polyodontidae

Paddlefish Polyodon spathula. Once common throughout main river channels of the Mobile Basin and Tennessee River drainage, but past over-harvest resulted in a fishing moratorium for the "spoonbill cat" in 1988. Populations have recovered somewhat, and are now more common in the lower Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. Low Conservation Concern.

Order Lepisosteiformes
Gars - Family Lepisosteidae

Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula. Generally uncommon throughout the Alabama, Tombigbee, and Conecuh Rivers but this may be due, in part, to the difficulty of locating and collecting this long-lived predator. This magnificent fish can grow to three meters (9.8 feet) long and is bow hunted for sport in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus. Widespread and common in larger rivers and backwaters throughout the state. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Longnose Gar Lepisosteus osseus. Widespread and common in larger rivers and streams in Alabama and one of its largest freshwater fishes. Reaches lengths approaching two meters (6.5 feet). Lowest Conservation Concern.

Shortnose Gar Lepisosteus platostomus. Status in Alabama somewhat problematic. No specimens have been found in recent years despite extensive collecting throughout the Tennessee River Basin. Extirpated.

Order Amiiformes
Bowfin - Family Amiidae

Bowfin Amia calva. "Grinnel" are primitive, long-lived fishes widespread throughout the state but uncommon in the Tennessee River drainage. Prefer sloughs, backwaters, oxbows, and main river channels. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Hiodontiformes
Mooneyes - Family Hiodontidae

Goldeye Hiodon alosoides. Last collected in 1938, this riverine species is now considered extirpated. Extirpated.

Mooneye Hiodon tergisus. An uncommon but widespread predator in larger rivers and streams in the Mobile River Basin below the Fall Line, and in the Tennessee River drainage. Low Conservation Concern.

Order Anguilliformes
Freshwater Eels - Family Anguillidae

American Eel Anguilla rostrata. A catadromous piscivore, widespread and fairly common below the Fall Line in the Mobile River Basin and all coastal rivers, but uncommon in the Tennessee drainage. Large individuals infrequently captured in smaller streams. Low Conservation Concern.

Order Clupeiformes
Anchovies - Family Engraulidae

Bay Anchovy Anchoa mitchilli. An abundant forage fish in estuarine waters. Seasonally inhabits the lower Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. A population has been found in the lower Black Warrior River 434 kilometers (270 miles) upstream of Mobile Bay. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Herrings - Family Clupeidae

Alabama Shad Alosa alabamae. Anadromous and found seasonally during spring spawning migrations in the Choctawhatchee and Conecuh Rivers. Occurs sporadically in the Alabama and Black Warrior Rivers. The U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service is considering this species for protected status. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Skipjack Herring Alosa chrysochloris. Widely distributed throughout the Mobile River Basin below the Fall Line, in coastal rivers, and in the Tennessee River drainage. Occurs most commonly in large rivers and reservoirs during spring spawning period. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum. Widespread and common in all Alabama waters, especially larger rivers and reservoirs. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Threadfin Shad Dorosoma petenense. A widespread and abundant fish in rivers, impoundments, and lakes throughout Alabama. The common bait shad for most anglers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Siluriformes
North American Catfishes - Family Ictaluridae

Snail Bullhead Ameiurus brunneus. This uncommon bullhead prefers deep, swift, streams and rivers with rock and sand bottoms in the Chattahoochee River drainage. Low Conservation Concern.

White Catfish Ameiurus catus. This ashy-colored white catfish is fairly widespread and occasionally abundant in the Chattahoochee River system with introduced populations scattered throughout the state. Low Conservation Concern.

Black Bullhead Ameiurus melas. Widespread but generally uncommon. Prefers low-gradient backwaters throughout the state. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Yellow Bullhead Ameiurus natalis. Can be found in varying habitats from streams and slow backwaters to swamps and oxbows across Alabama, and is the most widespread and common of Alabama’s bullheads. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Brown Bullhead Ameiurus nebulosus. Occurs irregularly in smaller tributaries in a variety of habitats from quiet pools in backwaters and oxbows to streams, most frequently in the eastern half of the state. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Spotted Bullhead Ameiurus serracanthus. Alabama’s rarest bullhead, this species is limited to the Chattahoochee River system in southeastern Alabama. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus. A commercially valuable species found in larger streams and rivers throughout Alabama. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus. A favorite of anglers and the basis of a multi-million-dollar catfish aquaculture industry. Widespread and common in most Alabama rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Elegant Madtom Noturus elegans. Formerly known from across the Tennessee River Valley, but substantial collecting effort the last 20 years has failed to locate this species in state waters. Extirpated.

Mountain Madtom Noturus eleutherus. Only known Alabama population of this riffle-dwelling madtom resides in the Elk River main channel near the Alabama-Tennessee state line. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Slender Madtom Noturus exilis. Scattered throughout small, rocky streams and creeks in the Highland Rim of the Tennessee River drainage. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Black Madtom Noturus funebris. Occurs frequently in small streams of the Mobile River Basin below the Fall Line and in the Bear Creek system of the Tennessee River drainage. Also penetrates the Piedmont Uplands in the Tallapoosa River system. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Tadpole Madtom Noturus gyrinus. Restricted to the Coastal Plain, most frequently occurring in snags and undercut banks in western Mobile River Basin tributaries. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Speckled Madtom Noturus leptacanthus. Most common madtom in Alabama. Frequents snags and cover in most Coastal Plain streams and rivers penetrating upland areas in the Mobile River Basin. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Brindled Madtom Noturus miurus. This mottled, robust madtom occurs peripherally in the Bear Creek system, most commonly in Little Bear and Cedar Creeks. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Frecklebelly Madtom Noturus munitus. Prefers stable gravel shoals in free-flowing rivers and larger streams in the Coastal Plain of Alabama. Currently known only from the lower Cahaba River and eastern tributaries to the upper Tombigbee River. The lower Alabama River population has apparently been extirpated by construction and maintenance of the Alabama River navigation system. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Freckled Madtom Noturus nocturnus. This Coastal Plain species prefers rock and log snags in deeper runs of moderately swift streams and rivers generally in western drainage systems in Alabama. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Highlands Stonecat Noturus sp. cf. flavus. The Alabama distribution of this undescribed relative of the stonecat, Noturus flavus, is limited to the free-flowing main channel sections of the Elk River and Shoal Creek in the Tennessee Valley. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris. Occasional monsters (up to 36 kg [80 lb.]) of this widespread and common "yellow or appaloosa cat" are caught in larger rivers of the state. Juveniles and yearlings prefer riffle and shoal areas in flowing rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Esociformes
Pikes - Family Esocidae

Redfin Pickerel Esox americanus. Commonly encountered in slow-moving, clear streams with aquatic vegetation throughout the Coastal Plain and occasionally above the Fall Line. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Muskellunge Esox masquinongy. Has been stocked in the Tennessee and Tallapoosa River systems in past years. Exotic.

Chain Pickerel Esox niger. This large predator, known for its respectable fight on a line, can be found in rivers and backwaters of impoundments throughout the state. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Salmoniformes
Trouts and Salmons - Family Salmonidae

Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Not native to Alabama, but stocked into selected waters. The tail race below Smith Lake Dam is the most popular rainbow trout fishery in the state. Exotic.

Brown Trout Salmo trutta. Past attempts at stocking this species in Alabama have been unsuccessful in producing self-sustaining populations. Exotic.

Order Percopsiformes
Pirate Perch - Family Aphredoderidae

Pirate Perch Aphredoderus sayanus. A widespread yet secretive species found throughout the Coastal Plain, preferring sheltered, hidden areas in backwaters, swamps, sloughs, and streams. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Amblyopsiformes
Cavefishes - Family Amblyopsidae

Alabama Cavefish Speoplatyrhinus poulsoni. Limited to Key Cave, Lauderdale County, this unique, troglobitic species has one of the most restricted distributions of any vertebrate species in Alabama. Listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Southern Cavefish Typhlichthys subterraneus. Prefers pools in limestone cave environments in the Tennessee drainage and upper Coosa River system. Habitat is highly susceptible to degradation due to ground water of poor quality. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Order Mugiliformes
Mullets - Family Mugilidae

Striped Mullet Mugil cephalus. Invades larger coastal rivers and the main river trunks of the Mobile River Basin upstream to the Fall Line. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Atheriniformes
New World Silversides - Family Atherinopsidae

Brook Silverside Labidesthes sicculus. This long and slender forage species commonly occurs in larger streams and rivers in the Coastal Plain and in the Tennessee River drainage, but is noticeably absent in the Coosa and Tallapoosa River systems. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Mississippi Silverside Menidia audens. Recently recognized by R.D. Suttkus as occurring in Pickwick Reservoir and the upper Tombigbee River in Alabama. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Inland Silverside Menidia beryllina. Common in tributaries to Mobile Bay and the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and occasional in the lower reaches of the Alabama River. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Beloniformes
Needlefishes - Family Belonidae

Atlantic Needlefish Strongylura marina. A marine species that ascends main river channels of the Alabama and Tombigbee upstream to the Fall Line, penetrating well inland in other southeastern Alabama coastal rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Cyprinodontiformes
Topminnows - Family Fundulidae

Whiteline Topminnow Fundulus albolineatus. Described from Spring Creek, Madison County, this species was last collected in 1889. EXTINCT. 

Stippled Studfish Fundulus bifax. Restricted to the Tallapoosa River and Sofkahatchee Creek of the Coosa River. Infrequently encountered in slow eddies along stream margins. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Western Starhead Topminnow Fundulus blairae. An infrequent and uncommon fish in the southwestern and central Coastal Plain of Alabama. Found in shoreline vegetation of overflow pools and backwaters of larger rivers and streams. Low Conservation Concern.

Northern Studfish Fundulus catenatus. This colorful and lively topminnow of the Tennessee River drainage prefers clear shallows near stream runs and riffles. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Golden Topminnow Fundulus chrysotus. Limited to quiet ponds and vegetated backwaters of tributaries to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Mobile Bay, and the adjacent Coastal Lowlands. Low Conservation Concern.

Banded Topminnow Fundulus cingulatus. Occurs peripherally in Alabama. Known from a few scattered locations in Weeks Bay, along the Fort Morgan Peninsula, the Perdido River, and in the Escambia and Yellow Rivers at the Florida state line. Low Conservation Concern.

Marsh Killifish Fundulus confluentus. This uncommon killifish reaches its westernmost distribution limit in Baldwin County, Alabama, occurring in fresh to saline marshes in the Perdido River drainage and along the coastal shoreline. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Starhead Topminnow Fundulus dispar. Prefers pools in small, vegetated streams and backwaters along larger rivers. Known from scattered locations in lower Mobile River Basin. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Russetfin Topminnow Fundulus escambiae. Occurs in vegetated pools and shallow backwaters in streams and rivers of the lower Coastal Plain from Mobile River basin east to the Chattahoochee River. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Saltmarsh Topminnow Fundulus jenkinsi. Occurs infrequently in fresh to saline coastal marshes in the narrow coastal strip and barrier islands. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Blackstripe Topminnow Fundulus notatus. Locally abundant in western tributaries to the upper Tombigbee River, and known from scattered localities in the lower Mobile River Basin and Tennessee River drainage. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Bayou Topminnow Fundulus nottii. Prefers pooled blackwater streams with vegetation in the Tombigbee and Alabama Rivers below the Fall Line. Commonly found in streams draining the Southern Pine Hills and Coastal Lowlands. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Blackspotted Topminnow Fundulus olivaceus. Ubiquitous throughout Alabama in all types of aquatic habitats, but preferring stream and river margins. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Bayou Killifish Fundulus pulvereus. Occurs infrequently in bays and brackish waters of Mobile Bay, its tributaries, and barrier islands in Alabama. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Southern Studfish Fundulus stellifer. This brilliant studfish prefers pools and quiet areas of upland Coosa River streams, and a few tributaries in the Lime Hills region. Apparently extirpated in the Cahaba River system. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Pygmy Killifish Leptolucania ommata. Poorly known. Shallow, extensively vegetated overflow pools and backwaters in the Perdido River and Weeks Bay systems, and a handful of localities near the Gulf Coast, are the few places this diminutive fish is found in Alabama. Low Conservation Concern

Bluefin Killifish Lucania goodei. The vegetated shallows of Bazemores Mill Pond in Houston County are the only places this small killifish has been found in Alabama. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Rainwater Killifish Lucania parva. Poorly known. Found in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Mobile Bay, and nearshore marine areas. Occasionally encountered in overflow pools along the Chattahoochee River. Low Conservation Concern.

Livebearers - Family Poeciliidae

Western Mosquitofish Gambusia affinis. Common in most waters and occurring throughout the Tennessee River drainage and the northern half of the Mobile River Basin. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Eastern Mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki. Also common throughout the coastal drainages from the Chattahoochee River west to the Mobile River Basin. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Least Killifish Heterandria formosa. One of the smallest fish in the world. Sporadically found in the lower Mobile River Basin and Mobile Bay tributaries and occasionally in tributaries along the Florida state line. Its rarity likely due to inadequate sampling in its preferred habitat of deep, blackwater streams with vegetated shorelines. Low Conservation Concern.

Sailfin Molly Poecilia latipinna. A common dweller in marine and estuarine areas and occasionally in freshwater lagoons in coastal zones. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Pupfishes - Family Cyprinodontidae

Sheepshead Minnow Cyprinodon variegatus. A common resident of brackish and fresh waters around Mobile Bay and the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Order Scorpaeniformes
Sculpins - Family Cottidae

Mottled Sculpin Cottus bairdii. Uncommonly distributed across northern Alabama in the Fall Line Hills and Cumberland Plateau of the Tennessee River drainage. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Banded Sculpin Cottus carolinae. Common above the Fall Line in the Mobile River Basin and also throughout the Tennessee River drainage; uncommon in the lower Alabama and Tombigbee River drainages. Prefers rocky riffles and shoals. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Tallapoosa Sculpin Cottus sp. cf. carolinae. This undescribed species is found in upland streams of the Tallapoosa River system. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Pygmy Sculpin Cottus paulus. This highly camouflaged sculpin is abundant in its only known location, Coldwater Spring and spring run in Calhoun County, the public water supply for the city of Anniston. Listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGHEST CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Order Pleuronectiformes
Sand Flounders - Family Paralichthyidae

Southern Flounder Paralichthys lethostigma. Common in bays along the coast, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and penetrates the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers upstream to Claiborne and Coffeeville Dams, respectively. Lowest Conservation Concern.

American Soles - Family Achiridae
Hogchoker Trinectes maculatus. Like the flounder, found in bay tributaries and in the lower Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers upstream to the first dams. They also penetrate upstream in the Conecuh and Choctawhatchee Rivers. Lowest Conservation Concern.


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