Game Fish of Nevada
They have light spots on a dark background. Belly and lower fins brilliant orange in spawning males. Upper body and dorsal fin have mottled or worm-like markings. Red spots, with or without bluish rings around them. The most distinguishing marks are the white and thin black stripe along the leading edge of the lower fins. Tail square or slightly forked.
Back is brown or olive with large black spots. Sides light brown to yellowish, with numerous black and red-orange spots surrounded by light blue rings. Few if any spots on tail.
Cutthroat Trout (Stream and Lake)
Body color is highly variable. Back may be steel gray to olive-green. Sides may be yellow-brown with red or pink along belly. Slash marks on either side of the throat beneath the lower jaw may be yellow, crimson-red or orange. Fins uniform color with no white tips. Scattered spots are usually round and black, more closely grouped towards the tail. Teeth on back of tongue. Nevada has three subspecies of cutthroat trout including Lahontan, Bonneville and Yellowstone.
They have light spots on a dark background. Back has pale yellow spots and sides with orange or red spots; pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins have white edges. Distinguished from Brook Trout by lack of worm-like markings on back. This fish is native to only the Jarbidge River system of northern Elko County and occurs in tributaries associated with the two forks of that stream system.
Body usually olive to greenish-blue on the back; belly white to silver; sides usually show prominent red or pink streak. Fish from lakes sometimes lose all color and appear silvery. Irregular/freckled spots on back, sides, head, dorsal fin and tail. No teeth on back of tongue. Native to the Columbia River drainage of northeastern Nevada, but stocked extensively from hatcheries throughout Nevada.
(Salmo trutta x Salvelinus fontinalis)
A Tiger Trout is a hybrid of a Brown Trout and Brook Trout. It has pronounced, light-colored vermiculations (worm-like markings) all over a brownish-gray body that resembles the stripes of a tiger. The belly is yellowish-orange as are the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. The tail is not deeply forked.
Lake Trout or Mackinaw
Light colored spots on a dark background. Dark gray or gray-green above, belly light gray or white. Currently found in Lake Tahoe, Nevada-California, and Liberty and Echo Lakes in Elko County.
Back and fins are light brown or gold and the sides and belly are silver and white. There are no spots. Tail deeply forked and body is deep and round. Mouth small with no teeth. Large fleshy adipose fin.
Dark green on back and sides, silvery below. Belly is greenish-white. A broad dark band on the sides a broad, dark horizontal band extends along the lateral line on each side. The spiny and soft-rayed parts of the dorsal fin are nearly separated from the soft rays by a deep notch. Upper jaw when closed extends at least to the rear edge of the eye in adults, usually beyond.
Dark olive to brown on back, sides bronze, belly white. Dark vertical bands on sides and dark brown horizontal bars on the head. Eyes reddish. The spiny and soft-rayed parts of the dorsal fin are continuous, not separate. Upper jaw when closed does not extend beyond the rear edge of the eye.
Green to dark green on back and sides with a white belly. Rows of spots along the lower sides below the dark lateral stripe. Dorsal fins are connected and not separated into two distinct fins. Upper jaw extends to the back of the eye, but not beyond the eye as in the largemouth bass.
Body olive-green above, shading from silvery on sides to white on belly with brassy reflection. There are 7 to 8 longitudinal dark stripes following the scale rows. The tail is forked and the body is cylindrical in shape. Occasionally exceeds 50 pounds.
Found in Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and Colorado River.
Dark gray to black on the back, with bright silvery sides and white belly. The sides have dark stripes or lines (about 5 are above the lateral line). Body strongly compressed from side to side, forehead is dished and snout is slightly turned up. Seldom exceeds 3 pounds. Found only in the Northern NV waters.
(Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis)
A wiper is a sterile hybrid of a white bass and striped bass. Identification can be difficult, particularly for young fish. In adult fish, the hybrid has a deep body and an arched back similar to the white bass. A mid-body break in line pattern occasionally occurs. Occasionally exceeds 10 pounds. Found only in northern Nevada waters.
Very colorful. Light to dark blue on bright purple. In breeding season, the breast of males is red. Gill covers often blue with a black spot on the rear of the “ear flap”. Faint vertical bars on the sides. The mouth is small and when closed, barely reaches the front of the eye. Distinguished from Green Sunfish by small mouth not extending to middle of eye.
Each scale is flecked with yellow or emerald green. Back and sides olive-green, and lower belly yellowish-copper or brassy. Body is short, stocky, and deeply compressed from side to side. The gill cover has a broad, light margin, and it often has a black spot on the rear flap. Distinguished from Bluegill by larger mouth with jaw extending to middle of eye.
Silver-olive with numerous black or dark green splotches on the sides. Forehead is dished and the snout is turned up. Base of the dorsal fin is about the same length as the base of the anal fin. Nevada has black and white crappie. Black crappie have irregular black splotches; white crappie have vertical bars.
No scales, tail deeply forked with pointed lobes. Body pale bluish-olive above and bluish-white below. Spots vary from a few to many over much of the body and may not occur on large fish. Barbels extend from the chin and upper jaw. Both dorsal and pectoral fins have strong, sharp spines. Larger fish may be distinguished from the white catfish by the longer black barbels and more streamlined body form. Tail more deeply forked and head thinner and less rounded than white catfish. White on belly only to forward edge of anal fin.
Prominent “canine” teeth distinguish this big perch from its smaller family member the yellow perch. Color is brassy-olive buff sometimes shading to yellowish sides and white beneath. No distinct bars on the sides, but rather an overall mottling of black or brown. Large dark blotches at rear base of dorsal fin, and the lower lobe of tail fin is white tipped. The tail is moderately forked. Found only in northern Nevada reservoirs.
Dark brown to green back with yellow to green sides. Belly is light yellow to nearly white. The mouth is small and the opercular lobe or ear flap has a dark blue-back spot with red to orange edge.
Bluish to grayish above and white below. Tail deeply forked. No scales. No spots. Barbels extend from the chin and upper jaw. Both dorsal and pectoral fins have strong, sharp spines. White catfish have shorter barbels on the upper jaw than channel catfish, and barbels on lower jaw are whiter. Head is more rounded and white on belly extends to rear of anal fin. Found in Lahontan and the Humboldt River with channel catfish.
No scales. Adults are blackish, dark olive or dark brown. Belly is yellow, greenish-white, or white. Chin barbels are entirely black. The pectoral fin spine is smooth. Rarely exceeds 12 inches
Rich yellow to brassy-green with 6 to 8 dark vertical bars on the sides. Dark green back. No “canine” teeth. The belly is whitish. The dorsal fin has two sections, the front one contains 12 to 14 sharp spines and the rear 12 to 13 soft rays. Found only in northern Nevada waters.
Illustrations by Michelle LaGory excepted otherwise noted.