Information Center for the Environment

Distribution maps of fishes in California

Data source

There are estimated to be 120 native and non-native fish species that occur in California. The following list of fish species and their reported distributional ranges in California were compiled by Dr. Peter Moyle and his graduate student Paul Randall of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology at UC Davis for the Nature Conservancy as part of their Hexagon Project. Fish were mapped at the species level; subspecies were grouped into their respective species level. Present rather than historical distributions were mapped. As a source of data Dr. Moyle and Mr. Randall used a comprehensive fish database that consisted of about 10 separate fish databases from various agencies recording the presence and absence of a species. These databases varied from one another in structure and were queried separately for each species. Range maps were produced in accordance with the TNC's method of identifying species presence using three confidence ratings: confident, probable and possible. Information that came from existing databases (both digital and published reports) was categorized as confident.

The fish distribution data were graphically displayed on paper maps which were then used to create larger polygons showing species distributions at either the “probable” or “possible” levels of confidence. These polygons were initially drawn on paper maps (roughly 11 in. x 17 in.) which included locations of fish occurrences from all digital databases possessed, and GIS layers for hydrology (1:500,000 scale) and the state boundary (1:100,000 scale) . The boundaries of the fish range polygons were drawn on paper by Professor Peter Moyle and then digitized on the computer screen by Paul Randall using ARC/INFO GIS software. The resultant polygons are estimated to be accurate at a scale of roughly 1:1,000,000. This provided adequate resolution for the Hexagon Project which used a small geographic scale grid to compile species lists. A vast majority of the fish polygons were overlaid using the California 1:24,000 scale USGS quadrangle map grid lines to produce fish biodiversity (species richness) maps.

Index to Native and Non-native fishes in California

This is a taxonomically structured index of fish species that occur in California. Species marked with an (*) represent non-native species. Links to range maps are indicated by "map". We eventually hope to include a textual description of distribution and ecology for each species. Links to actual field records from a comprehensive fish database at UC Davis will be available sometime in the future. The Desert Fishes Council fish index was a valuable resource in setting up this website.

Taxonomic Identifications from American Fisheries Society Publication 20 (1991).

ORDER PETROMYZONTIFORMES

PETROMYZONTIDAE - lampreys

  • Lampetra ayresi - river lamprey - map
  • Lampetra hubbsi - Kern brook lamprey - map
  • Lampetra lethophaga - Pit-Klamath brook lamprey - map
  • Lampetra richardsoni - Western brook lamprey - map
  • Lampetra similis - Klamath lamprey - map
  • Lampetra tridentata - Pacific lamprey - map

    ORDER ACIPENSERIFORMES

    ACIPENSERIDAE - sturgeons

  • Acipenser medirostris - green sturgeon - map
  • Acipenser transmontanus - white sturgeon - map

    ORDER CLUPEIFORMES

    CLUPEIDAE - herrings and shads

  • *Alosa sapidissima - American shad - map
  • *Dorosoma petenense - threadfin shad - map

    ORDER CYPRINIFORMES

    CYPRINIDAE - Minnows and carp

  • *Carassius auratus - goldfish
  • *Cyprinis carpio - common carp
  • Gila bicolor - tui chub - map
  • Gila coerulea - blue chub - map
  • Gila orcutti - arroyo chub - map
  • Lavinia symmetricus - California roach - map
  • Lavinia exilicauda - hitch - map
  • Mylopharodon conocephalus - hardhead - map
  • *Nolemigonus crysoleucas - golden shiner
  • *Notropis lutrensis - red shiner
  • Orthodon microlepidontus - Sacramento blackfish - map
  • *Pimephales promelas - fathead minnow
  • Pogonichthys macrolepidotus - Sacramento splittail - map
  • Ptychocheilus grandis - Sacramento squawfish - map
  • Ptychocheilus lucius - Colorado squawfish - map
  • Rhinichthys osculus - speckled dace - map
  • Richardsonius egregius - Lahontan redside - map
  • *Tinca tinca - tench - map

    CATOSTOMIDAE - suckers

  • Catostomus fumeiventris - Owens sucker - map
  • Catostomus occidentalis - Sacramento sucker - map
  • Catostomus platyrhynchus - mountain sucker - map
  • Catostomus rimiculus - Klamath smallscale sucker - map
  • Catostomus santaanae - Santa Ana sucker - map
  • Catostomus snyderi - Klamath largescale sucker - map
  • Catostomus tahoesis - Tahoe sucker - map
  • Chasmistes brevirostris - shortnose sucker - map
  • Deltistes luxatus - Lost River sucker - map
  • Xyrauchen texanus - razorback sucker - map

    COBITIDAE - loaches

  • *Misgurnus anguillicaudatus - oriental weatherfish - map

    ORDER SILURIFORMES

    ICTALURIDAE - bullhead catfishes

  • *Ameiurus catus - white catfish - map
  • * Ameiurus melas - black bullhead - map
  • * Ameiurus natalis - yellow bullhead - map
  • * Ameiurus nebulosus - brown bullhead - map
  • *Ictalurus furcatus - blue catfish - map
  • *Ictalurus punctatus - channel catfish - map
  • *Pylodictis oliveris - flathead catfish - map

    ORDER SALMONIFORMES

    OSMERIDAE - smelts

  • *Hypomesus nipponensis - wakasagi - map
  • Hypomesus pretiosus - surf smelt - map
  • Hypomesus transpacificus - delta smelt - map
  • Spirinchus thaleichthys - longfin smelt - map
  • Thaleichthys pacificus - eulachon - map

    SALMONIDAE - trouts

  • Oncorhynchus clarkii - cutthroat trout - map
  • Oncorhynchus keta - chum salmon - map
  • Oncorhynchus kisutch - coho salmon - map
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss - rainbow trout - map
  • *Oncorhynchus nerka - sockeye salmon (kokanee) - map
  • Oncorhynchus tshawytscha - chinook salmon - map
  • Prosopium williamsoni - mountain whitefish - map
  • *Salmo trutta - brown trout - map
  • *Salvelinus fontinalis - brook trout - map
  • *Salvelinus namaycush - lake trout - map
  • *Thymallus arcticus - arctic grayling - map

    ORDER CYPRINODONTIFORMES

    APLOCHEILIDAE - rivulins

  • *Rivulus harti - Trinidad (giant) rivulus - map

    CYPRINODONTIDAE - killifishes

  • Cyprinodon macularius - desert pupfish - map
  • Cyprinodon nevadensis - Amargosa pupfish - map
  • Cyprinodon radiosus - Owens pupfish - map
  • Cyprinodon salinus - Salt Creek pupfish - map
  • Fundulus parvipinnis - California killifish - map
  • *Lucania parva - rainwater killifish - map

    POECILIIDAE - livebearers

  • *Gambusia affinis - western mosquitofish
  • *Poecilia latipinna - sailfin molly - map
  • *Poecilia mexicana - shortfin molly - map
  • *Poeciliopsis gracilis - porthole livebearer - map
  • *Xiphophorus variatus - variable platyfish - map

    ATHERINIDAE - silversides

  • Atherinops affinis - topsmelt - map
  • *Menidia beryllina - inland silverside - map

    ORDER GASTEROSTEIFORMES

    GASTEROSTEIDAE - sticlebacks

  • Gasterosteus aculeatus - threespine stickleback - map

    ORDER SCORPAENIFORMES

    COTTIDAE - sculpins

  • Cottus aleuticus - coastrange sculpin - map
  • Cottus armatus - staghorn sculpin - map
  • Cottus asper - prickly sculpin - map
  • Cottus asperrimus - rough sculpin - map
  • Cottus beldingii - Paiute sculpin - map
  • Cottus klamathensis - marbled sculpin - map
  • Cottus gulosus - riffle sculpin - map
  • Cottus perplexus - reticulate sculpin - map
  • Cottus pitensis - pit sculpin - map

    ORDER PERCIFORMES

    PERCICHTHYIDAE - temperate basses

  • *Morone chrysops - white bass - map
  • *Morone saxatilis - striped bass - map

    CENTRARCHIDAE - sunfishes

  • Archoplites interruptus - Sacramento perch - map
  • *Lepomis cyanellus - green sunfish - map
  • *Lepomis gibbosus - pumpkinseed
  • *Lepomis gulosus - warmouth - map
  • *Lepomis macrochirus - bluegill - map
  • *Lepomis microlophus - redear sunfish - map
  • *Micropterus coosae - redeye bass - map
  • *Micropterus dolomieu - smallmouth bass - map
  • *Micropterus punctulatus - spotted bass - map
  • *Micropterus salmoides - largemouth bass - map
  • *Pomoxis annularis - white crappie - map
  • *Pomoxis nigromaculatus - black crappie - map

    PERCIDAE - perches

  • *Perca flavescens - yellow perch - map
  • *Percina macrolepida - bigscale logperch - map

    HAEMULIDAE - grunts

  • *Anisotremus davidsoni - sargo - map

    SCIAENIDAE - drums

  • *Bairdiella icistia - bairdiella - map
  • *Cynoscion xanthulus - orangemouth corvina - map

    CICHLIDAE - cichlids

  • *Tilapia aurea - blue tilapia - map
  • *Tilapia mariae - spotted tilapia - map
  • *Tilapia mossambica - Mozambique tilapia - map
  • *Tilapia urolepis - Wami tilapia - map
  • *Tilapia zilli - redbelly tilapia - map

    EMBIOTOCIDAE - surfperches

  • Cymatogaster aggregata - shiner perch - map
  • Hysterocarpus traski - tule perch - map

    MUGILIDAE - mullets

  • *Mugil cephalus - striped mullet - map

    GOBIIDAE - gobies

  • *Acanthogobius flavimanus - yellowfin goby - map
  • Eucyclogobius newberryi - tidewater goby
  • Gillichthys mirailis - longjaw mudsucker - map
  • *Tridentiger bifasciatus - Shimofuri goby - map
  • *Tridentiger trigonocephalus - Cameleon goby

    ORDER PLEURONECTIFORMES

    BOTHIDAE - lefteye flounders

  • Platichthys stellatus - starry flounder - map