Cumberland River Drainage

Pirate Perch (Aphredoderus sayanus)

The Pirate Perch is distributed in Coastal Plain habitats from Texas to New York, including low-lying Mississippi River and Great Lakes drainages through the Midwest. They are most closely associated with backwater habitats with vegetation, including slow streams, oxbows, and swamps. The most unusual character of this species is the positioning of the anus directly behind the gills on the underside of the throat in adults, which migrates during development from a position just before the anal fin in juveniles.

Mountain Brook Lamprey (Ichthyomyzon greeleyi)

The Mountain Brook Lamprey has a fragmented distribution across the entire Ohio River basin from Alabama to New York. Adults are found in small upland streams with gravel substrates, while larvae (ammocoetes) are found along banks in soft substrate. Mountain Brook Lampreys are non-parasitic, meaning they do not feed as adults and also do not have functional teeth on their oral disc.

Mud Darter (Etheostoma asprigene)

The Mud Darter is a widespread species found in lowland Gulf drainages in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi north through the Mississippi Embayment to Wisconsin and Minnesota. They inhabit slow-flowing riffles over rocks and debris. Mud Darters have five to six dark vertical bars on the back of their body.

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata)

The American Eel is found across much of eastern North America from Newfoundland to Texas and south to South America. While they live in streams and rivers for most of their lives, they migrate as adults into the Atlantic Ocean where they spawn and die. Larvae are moved by ocean currents back to shoreline habitats where they migrate back up into rivers. American Eels have a snake-like body with a long dorsal fin and can be distinguished from lampreys by their jaws.

White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii)

The White Sucker is found across middle and northern North America, including the Tennessee and Cumberland river drainages. They live in many different habitats, though predominately in smaller streams and rivers. White Suckers have small scales and a rounded body.

Highfin Carpsucker (Carpiodes velifer)

The Highfin Carpsucker is widespread in the Mississippi River Drainage as well as southeastern Gulf and Atlantic coast drainages. They live in many different habitats, though predominately in large rivers. As their common name suggests, Highfin Carpsuckers have a long and highly curved dorsal fin that is adapted for life in large rivers.

Quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus)

The Quillback is widespread from Florida to western Canada, including the Mobile Basin, Tennessee, and Cumberland river drainages. They live in many different habitats, though predominately in large rivers. As their common name suggests, Quillbacks have a long and highly curved dorsal fin that is adapted for life in large rivers.

Largescale Stoneroller (Campostoma oligolepis)

The Largescale Stoneroller is widespread from Alabama to Wisconsin. They live in many different habitats of small creeks to medium rivers. They have a ridge made of cartilage on their lower jaw used to scrape algae off of rocks. Breeding males have a pattern of tubercles, horny projections, on their head and body, which are used during courtship.

Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens)

The Freshwater Drum has a wide distribution ranging from Central America to Canada. This distribution stretches farther from north to south than any other freshwater fish species in North America. Freshwater Drums live at the bottom of large rivers and lakes. Like other members of the drum family, they are able to make noise (or drumming sounds) using their gas bladder.

Black Bullhead (Ameiurus melas)

The Black Bullhead has a wide distribution stretching across eastern North America from Texas to Canada including the Mobile Basin, Tennessee, and Cumberland river drainages. They are found in backwaters, ponds, and lakes over soft substrate. Catfishes get their name from whiskers (barbels) around their mouth with taste buds that aid in finding food. Like all North American catfishes, they make nests and protect their eggs and young.