State Fish Of West Virginia

State Fish Of West Virginia

“Brook Trout” Is The Official State Fish Of West Virginia. West Virginia Adopted Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) as the official state fish in 1973. West Virginia’s sportsmen selected the official West Virginia State Fish in a poll conducted by the Department of Natural Resources. The brook trout was selected almost unanimously over smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, musky, and bluegill. Brook trout have a long, streamlined body with a large mouth that extends past the eye. Color variations include olive, blue-gray or black above with a silvery-white belly and wormlike markings (vermiculation pattern) along the back.

State Fish Of West Virginia Brook Trout have red spots sometimes surrounded by bluish halos on their sides. The lower fins have a white front edge followed by black and the remainder being reddish-orange. The tail fin is square or slightly forked. During fall breeding time, West Virginia State Fish male brook trout will develop a slightly hooked jaw and become very bright orange-red along the lower sides which are highlighted by a black vertical stripe along the belly. Brook Trout have been described as voracious feeders with the potential to consume large numbers seasonally available mayflies, stoneflies and other aquatic insects as well as terrestrial insects.

However, West Virginia State Fish Brook Trout will often feed on whatever is most readily available like zooplankton, crustaceans, worms, and fish. Brook Trout can be found alongside rocks, under cover of logs and undercut banks, in cold water, spring-fed streams, rivers, lakes and in the Great Lakes. Larger brook trout often inhabit deep in stream pools moving to shallow water feed. Spawning generally occurs in the months of October and November. Mature brook trout seek a gravel riffle area in spring-fed streams, seepage areas of ponds, lakeshores with swift currents or groundwater seepages. Female brook trout use their tails to create a spawning bed (or redd). After spawning the female covers the eggs (up to 5,000 per female) with gravel.


Identification Of Brook Trout

Family: Centrachidae

Common Family: The Sunfish Family

Common Name: Black Crappie

Scientific Name: Pomoxis nigromaculatus


The black crappie is pan-size fish which are silver and black. They have a large mouth and their spiny-rayed and soft-rayed dorsal fins are connected. Black crappie has 7 or 8 dorsal spines. White crappie has 6 dorsal spines.

Range and Habitat:

The black crappie is found throughout West Virginia in our larger streams, rivers, and lakes. They like brushy habitat including standing timber, fallen trees, and brush piles.

Similar Species:

White crappie has 5-6 dorsal spines, rarely 7.

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