Little Known Fish

Life History & Michigan History

Living among Michigan’s well-known game fishes are several lesser recognized species. They typically do not put up tackle-busting fights or make long migrations. In fact, most of the species probably spend the majority of their life in a relatively small area. Yet these species are vital to the structure and ecology of Michigan’s rivers, streams, and lakes. Three of the groups are rather unique in both their habits and adaptations and deserve a closer look. They are the sticklebacks, sculpins, and darters.

These three groups, along with daces, killifish, shiners, topminnows, and others make up a large portion of Michigan’s fish species. They can be found in most of the state’s aquatic systems and are an essential part of the state’s natural heritage. Next time you spend time near one of our streams or lakes, take a moment to explore a little closer, and you may find one of Michigan’s lesser-known fish.