Elk River Basin - Fish
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Fish can be found swimming in deep pools or in shallow riffle areas in rivers where they eat insects, crawfish, and smaller fish. Some fish eat materials off of the bottom of the river.

Excessive algae growth and sediments from erosion can cause decreased clarity of water, resulting in negative effects for fish inhabiting a stream. If the water in a river is too hot or if there is not enough dissolved oxygen in the water, large numbers of fish can die. Industrial wastes and chemicals can also enter the tissues of fish and accumulate over time.

Long-term sampling revealed seventy species of fish inhabiting the Elk River Basin. The occurrence of some of these species has changed over time. Some private ponds and streams have been stocked with sportfish, including non-native trout such as rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout, and grayling that have since been unsuccessful.

See the table below for a list of fish species by stream in the Elk River Basin.

Fish Species in the Elk River Basin and current stream distribution.

Flathead catfish

Common Name

Species

Lost

Buffalo

Indian

Elk

Butler

Big Sugar

Mikes

Little Sugar

Rock bass

Ambloplites rupestris

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Ozark cavefish

Amblyopsis rosae

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black bullhead

Ameirus melas

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Yellow bullhead

Ameirus natalis

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Freshwater drum

Aplodinotus grunniens

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Central stoneroller

Campostoma pullum

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

River carpsucker

Carpiodes carpio

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Quillback

Carpiodes cyprinus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

White sucker

Catostomus commersoni

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Banded sculpin

Cottus carolinae

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Grass carp

Ctenopharyngodon idella

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Blue sucker

Cycleptus elongatus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Bluntface shiner

Cyprinella camura

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

Red shiner

Cyprinella lutrensis

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Common carp

Cyprinus carpio

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Gizzard shad

Dorosoma cepedianum

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Gravel chub

Erimystax punctatus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Greenside darter

Etheostoma blennioides

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

Fantail darter

Etheostoma flabellare

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Johnny darter

Etheostoma nigrum

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Stippled darter

Etheostoma punctulatum

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

Orangethroat darter

Etheostoma spectabile

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Speckled darter

Etheostoma stigmaeum

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Banded darter

Etheostoma zonale

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

Northern studfish

Fundulus catenatus

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Blackstripe topminnow

Fundulus notatus

 

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

Plains topminnow

Fundulus sciadicus

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western mosquitofish

Gambusia affinis

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

Northern hog sucker

Hypentelium nigricans

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

Southern brook lamprey

Ichthyomyzon gagei

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Channel catfish

Ictalurus punctatus

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Bigmouth buffalo

Ictiobus cyprinellus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Black buffalo

Ictiobus niger

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Brook silverside

Labidesthes sicculus

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

Longnose gar

Lepisosteus osseus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Green sunfish

Lepomis cyanellus

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

X

Warmouth

Lepomis gulosus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Orangespotted sunfish

Lepomis humilis

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

Longear sunfish

Lepomis megalotis

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

Redear sunfish

Lepomis microlophus

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Cardinal shiner

Luxilus cardinalis

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Redfin shiner

Lythrurus umbratilis

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Smallmouth bass

Micropterus dolomieu

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Spotted bass

Micropterus punctulatus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Largemouth bass

Micropterus salmoides

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

White bass

Morone chrysops

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Shorthead redhorse

Moxostoma macrolepidotum

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

River redhorse

Moxostoma carinatum

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Black redhorse

Moxostoma duquesnei

 

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

Golden redhorse

Moxostoma erythrurum

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Redspot chub

Nocomis asper

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Hornyhead chub

Nocomis biguttatus

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden shiner

Notemigonus crysoleucas

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Bigeye chub

Notropis amblops

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

Bigeye shiner

Notropis boops

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

Wedgespot shiner

Notropis greenei

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Ozark minnow

Notropis nubilus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

Rosyface shiner

Notropis rubellus

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

Slender madtom

Noturus exilis

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Rainbow trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Logperch

Percina caprodes

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Channel darter

Percina copelandi

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Southern redbelly dace

Phoxinus erythrogaster

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

Bluntnose minnow

Pimephales notatus

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Fathead minnow

Pimephales promelas

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

White crappie

Pomoxis annularis

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Black crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Pylodictus olivaris

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Creek chub

Semotilus atromaculatus

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation, available at http://www.conservation.mo.gov/fish/watershed/elk/biotic/010bct13.htm

See the table below for a cumulative list of species found in the Elk River Basin since sampling has begun.

Fish Species Collected Historically in the Elk River Basin

Common Name

Scientific Name

Period1

Southern brook lamprey

Ichthyomyzon gagei

B

Longnose gar

Lepisosteus osseus

C, D

Gizzard shad

Dorosoma cepedianum

A, C, D

Rainbow trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

A

Central stoneroller

Campostoma pullum

A, B, C, D, E

Grass carp

Ctenopharyngodon idella

C

Common carp

Cyprinus carpio

C, D

Bluntface shiner

Cyprinella camura

A, B, D

Red shiner

Cyprinella lutrensis

A, D

Gravel chub

Erimystax x-punctatus

A, B, D

Cardinal shiner2

Luxilus cardinalis

A, B, C, D, E

Redfin shiner

Lythrurus umbratilis

A

Redspot chub2

Nocomis asper

A, B, C, D, E

Hornyhead chub

Nocomis biguttatus

D

Golden shiner

Notemigonus crysoleucas

B

Bigeye chub

Notropis amblops

A, B, D, E

Bigeye shiner

Notropis boops

A, B, D, E

Wedgespot shiner

Notropis greenei

A, B, D

Ozark minnow

Notropis nubilus

A, B, C, D, E

Rosyface shiner

Notropis rubellus

A, B, C, D, E

Southern redbelly dace

Phoxinus erythrogaster

A, B, C, D, E

Bluntnose minnow

Pimephales notatus

A, B, C, D, E

Fathead minnow

Pimephales promelas

C

Creek chub

Semotilus atromaculatus

A, B, D, E

River carpsucker

Carpiodes carpio

B

Quillback

Carpiodes cyprinus

C

White sucker

Catostomus commersoni

A, B

Blue sucker

Cycleptus elongatus

A

Northern hog sucker

Hypentelium nigricans

A, B, C, D, E

Bigmouth buffalo

Ictiobus cyprinellus

C

Black buffalo

Ictiobus niger

A

River redhorse

Moxostoma carinatum

B, C

Black redhorse

Moxostoma duquesnei

A, B, C, D

Golden redhorse

Moxostoma erythrurum

A, B, C, D

Shorthead redhorse

Moxostoma macrolepidotum

A, C

Black bullhead

Ameiurus melas

B, D

Yellow bullhead

Ameiurus natalis

B, D

Channel catfish

Ictalurus punctatus

A, B, C, D, E

Flathead catfish

Pylodictis olivaris

C, D, E

Slender madtom

Noturus exilis

A, B, C, D, E

Ozark cavefish

Amblyopsis rosae

B, C

Northern studfish

Fundulus catenatus

A, B, C, D, E

Blackstripe topminnow

Fundulus notatus

A, B, D, E

Plains topminnow

Fundulus sciadicus

D

Western mosquitofish

Gambusia affinis

A, B, D, E

Brook silverside

Labidesthes sicculus

A, B, C, D, E

White bass

Morone chrysops

D, E

Rock bass

Ambloplites rupestris

A, B, C, D, E

Green sunfish

Lepomis cyanellus

A, B, C, D, E

Warmouth

Lepomis gulosus

B, C, D

Orangespotted sunfish

Lepomis humilis

A

Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

A, B, C, D, E

Longear sunfish

Lepomis megalotis

A, B, C, D, E

Redear sunfish

Lepomis microlophus

B, E

Smallmouth bass

Micropterus dolomieu

A, B, C, D, E

Spotted bass

Micropterus punctulatus

A, B, C, D, E

Largemouth bass

Micropterus salmoides

A, B, C, D, E

White crappie

Pomoxis annularis

A, B, C

Black crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus

C

Greenside darter

Etheostoma blennioides

A, B, D, E

Fantail darter

Etheostoma flabellare

A, B, C, D, E

Johnny darter

Etheostoma nigrum

B

Stippled darter

Etheostoma punctulatum

A, B, D, E

Orangethroat darter

Etheostoma spectabile

A, B, C, D, E

Speckled darter

Etheostoma stigmaeum

A, B, C, D, E

Banded darter

Etheostoma zonale

A, B, D, E

Logperch

Percina caprodes

A, C, D

Channel darter2

Percina copelandi

A

Freshwater drum

Aplodinotus grunniens

C, D

Banded sculpin

Cottus carolinae

A, B, C, D, E

1 - A = collected prior to 1946, B = collected between 1946 and 1982, C = collected between 1982 and 1990, D = collected between 1990 and 1996, E = collected in 1997 and 1998.

2 - Indicates species restricted to the Neosho basin (Spring and Elk rivers) in Missouri.

Source:   Missouri Department of Conservation, available at http://www.conservation.mo.gov/fish/watershed/elk/biotic/010bct14.htm


Blue sucker

Source:   http://www.gen.umn.edu/research/fish/fishes/blue_sucker.html.

Channel Darter

Source : http://www.kansasfishes.com/Pages/channeldarter.htm

Orangethroat Darter (Etheostoma spectabile)

Source: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/dnap/rivfish/orthroat.html

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Missouri Department
of Natural Resources

Missouri Watershed Information Network (MoWIN)
Send comments to: mowin1@missouri.edu
205 Agricultural Engineering
Columbia, MO 65211
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Page last updated August 26, 2008