Warmouth (Chaenobryttus gulosus)


Northwest Pennsylvania is particularly rich in fish species due to the presence of a wide variety of aquatic habitats and the occurrence of two major watersheds.  Habitats include the expansive wetlands of Presque Isle, Pymatuning Swamp and Conneaut Marsh, the stream systems of the Allegheny River and Lake Erie, and the deepwater habitats of Lake Erie, as well as many smaller ponds, lakes, and wetlands.  The Lake Erie watershed and the Ohio River watershed contain very different fish assemblages, and their convergence in northwest Pennsylvania creates a highly diverse fish fauna.  Lake Erie has at least 88 species of native fish, and at least 17 established introduced species.  Lake Erie has the greatest number of introduced species of all the Laurentian Great Lakes.  Some of these, such as the sea lamprey and the round goby, have had enormous impacts on the ecosystem.  At least 12 species have been extirpated from the lake. 

The Lake Erie sport fishery is a multi-million dollar industry, with walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and steelhead being the most frequently sought species.  The French Creek watershed contains more species of fish than any other comparably sized stream in the Commonwealth and possibly the northeast United States.  French Creek contains many state listed fish of special concern.  Darters are especially diverse in the creek.

The collection contains 74 species of fish, including six endangered species, two threatened species, and three candidate species as listed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Pennsylvania Endangered Species:

  • Cisco, Coregonus artedi
  • Redfin Shiner, Lythrurus umbratilis
  • Tadpole Madtom, Noturus gyrinus
  • Warmouth, Lepomis gulosus
  • Iowa Darter, Etheostoma exile
  • Eastern Sand Darter, Etheostoma pellucida

Pennsylvania Threatened Species

  • Mooneye, Hiodon tergisus
  • Spotted Darter, Etheostoma maculatum

Pennsylvania Candidate Species:

  • Ohio Lamprey, Ichthyomyzon bdellium
  • Central Mudminnow, Umbra limi
  • Brook Silverside, Labidesthes sicculus