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Month: February 2003

The Goldeye

The Goldeye

Description and Size: Color is dark-blue to blue-green on sides. Silver belly. White- brownish edges to scales lend the fish a tan colored appearance. Body sides are covered with large, loose scales. Body deep in proportion to its length sharp keel on belly. Dorsal fin of 9 or 10 rays. The head is small and short and bluntly rounded. Eye large and iris is yellow. Mouth has many small teeth on jaws and tongue. The largest Goldeye caught in Kansas was…

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The Freshwater Drum

The Freshwater Drum

Description and Size: The Freshwater Drum is a deep bodied, silver colored fish whose head and body slope steeply up from their nose to the dorsal fin, resulting in a hump-backed appearance. The skeletal features of the Drum are unique, with a heavily reinforced skull and large ear bones. They are also characterized by a long dorsal fin divided into two sections. The dorsal fin usually has 10 spines and 29-32 rays. Habitat in Kanssa: Freshwater Drum are found in many…

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Herrings

Herrings

Herrings are small, laterally flattened represented in Kansas by three species, Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad and the Skipjack Herring. The Gizzard Shad and the Skipjack Herring are native to Kansas; while the Threadfinshad Shad has been intrduced many times to the state fish fauna with poor results. The herrings have several distinct physical features that separate them from the other fishes: a single row of sawtooth scales called scutes occur along the belly, scaleless head, transparent eye covering that is…

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The Topminnows

The Topminnows

The Topminnows and Killifishes are typically found near shores of streams, in the backwaters, or in runs of small- to moderate-sized streams. Several species prefer water with dense vegetation. All species of Fundulus have an upturned, terminal mouth, which is an adaptation for feeding at the surface, although the Plains Killifish and Northern Studfish sometimes feed off the bottom. Spawning behavior varies among the species, but none of the Topminnows build nests or provide direct parental protection for the eggs…

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Pike

Pike

Description and Size: The Northern Pike vary in color from dark shades of green to olive green and brown, with seven to nine rows of yellowish spots. The underside is white or cream colored. They are equipped with a complex skull and jaw that is full of razor sharp teeth. The state record for Kansas is a 24 lbs., 12 oz. specimen that measured 44 inches by Mr. & Mrs. H.A. Bowman of Manhattan, Kansas. The fish was caught on rod…

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The Bowfin

The Bowfin

Description and Size: The Bowfin has a long dorsal fin that has distinct separation from the tail, with the tail being large and well rounded. The fish also has a large, toothed mouth. Due to the fishes rarity in Kansas there have been few species caught for size comparison but they are believed to get no larger than 43 inches, or about 8 pounds. Habitat in Kansas: Bowfins were rumored to inhabit the Missouri, Neosho, and Marais des Cygnes rivers in the…

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The Perch

The Perch

The Perch family is a large and varied group that is distributed throughout much of Asia, Europe, and North America. Over 100 species are native to North America, including the Yellow Perch, the Walleye and Sauger, and the tiny Darters. The Darters are endemic to North America, but a close relative to the Yellow Perch is found in Europe, as are the Zander (or pike-perch) and the Berschick, the European equivalents of the Sauger and Walleye. When the United States…

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minnows

minnows

The group of fishes identified as minnows is very large in Kansas. The physical characteristics that determine whether a fish can be considered a Minnow are as follows. External features include: scaleless head, toothless jaws, lack of adipose fin, lack of appendages at the base of the pelvic fins, and a single, soft dorsal fin in native species that has less than 10 rays. Internal anatomical features are: cyprinids have fewer than 10 teeth in any row on the pharyngeal…

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The Sturgeons

The Sturgeons

All stories about sea monsters do not come from sailors who saw a strange beast a long time ago in a distant part of the world. Some start on our very doorstep. Every few years some excited Chicago vacationer babbles about a huge creature that he saw leap, splash, and beat the water into foam right in front of his eyes. This is good news. It means that the lake sturgeon is not yet extinct. The Sturgeons are primitive fishes…

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Catfish

Catfish

The Catfishes belong in the family Ictaluridae. The family comprises 37 species, which encompass a wide range of sizes. Two North American species, the Blue and Flathead Catfishes, exceed 100 pounds, yet most of the Bullheads will typically grow no longer than 15 inches. The Madtoms are smaller still, with most species growing to a maximum of 5 inches or less. The Electric Catfish, Malapterurus electricus, native to Africa, is capable of producing an electric charge of up to 350 volts,…

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