Arkansas,
Home to 215 Species of Fish

Arkansas is rich in fish. Just five states are home to more species of fish than is The Natural State, which harbors 20 percent of the species found in North America.

At least 215 species live here. Some fish are very familiar, some are only seen by a few anglers. Arkansas has a wealth of water. The main reason for the diversity of fish species here is distinct eco-regions which have a wide variety of habitats – bayous of the Delta with cypress and tupelo gum trees, big rivers, oxbow lakes, clear highland streams and springs, and huge, deep and cool reservoirs. Different species have filled highly variable niches of these bodies of water. Of the 215 species found in Arkansas, 197 are native and the others were introduced for food, bait, sport fishing or vegetation control.

reprinted by permission, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

editor's note: You can read more about Arkansas Fish species at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

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