What Type Of Fish Are In The Mississippi River

With the majority of the Mississippi River travelling through the United States, it is no surprise that this river is brimming with many species of fish. Some of the most common fish that live in the Mississippi River include bluegill, largemouth bass, muskellunge, flathead catfish, carp and Northern Pike. These fish are very popular among anglers and are hunted for their various sizes and characteristics.

Wind and the currents from the Mississippi River create the perfect habitat for these fish to grow and thrive. One of the most common features of all fish species in the Mississippi River is their air bladder, which allows them to move quickly upstream and down, depending on the conditions.

The bluegill is one of the most commonly found and sought-after fish in the Mississippi River. This fish has a greenish-blue color and can grow to about 8 inches in size. It is known for its aggressive biting as well as its ability to adapt to various environments.

Largemouth bass is another type of fish in the Mississippi River. This particular fish is considered one of the most sought-after game fish in the area. It typically grows to about 18 inches in length and can be caught throughout the year. This fish is usually found in shallow water and uses its large mouth to feed on small fish and insects.

Muskellunge, or muskellunge, is a type of fish often found in the Mississippi River. This species is characterized by its long, slender body and has a dark green color. It is an aggressive predator and can grow up to 30 inches in length. Its primary diet consists of fish, insects, frogs and crayfish.

Flathead catfish is another species of fish in the Mississippi River. It has a flattened head and a yellow-brown coloration. It is known to be a very strong swimmer, able to swim against strong currents. Flathead catfish can also grow to be more than 40 inches in length, making it one of the largest species of fish in the Mississippi River.

Carp is another type of fish that is often found in the Mississippi River. It is characterized by its long, slender body and its silver-gray color. Carp is usually found in slow-moving, shallow waters and feeds on a variety of aquatic plants and small animals. It is particularly popular among anglers due to its strong fighting ability and its good taste when cooked.

The Northern Pike is another type of fish commonly found in the Mississippi River. This fish is characterized by its long, slender body and its yellow-green color. It is a voracious predator and feeds on fish, frogs and crayfish. Northern Pike generally grows to about 24 inches in length and can be caught throughout the year.

Fishing Regulations and Restrictions

The Mississippi River is full of diverse species of fish and anglers need to adhere to the laws and regulations set out by the state, to protect these species of fish and their habitats. Fishing regulations generally vary depending on which state the river is located in. As the river crosses multiple state borders, all anglers should make sure that they check each state’s regulations before fishing.

For example, in the state of Mississippi, it is illegal to catch any species listed as threatened or endangered by the state. Anglers in Mississippi must also observe the limit of five fish per day. It is also important to note that catch and release is only allowed for bass, bream and crappie which have a minimum size of 10 inches.

In the state of Minnesota, anglers must have a valid fishing licence. The licence allows a person or group of people to fish up to three poles, with a maximum of five hooks per legal line. Only four fish are allowed per legal line, with only one Hook-and-line line being allowed in each body of water.

It is also important to note that all anglers must observe the local fishing regulations on the Mississippi River and if any regulations are broken, there are substantial fines that may be levied. Therefore, all anglers are advised to consult their local state wildlife agency prior to fishing in the Mississippi River to ensure they are familiar with their rights, restrictions and limits.

Pollution Issues

Pollution is a major issue for the Mississippi River and its environment. Industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff are the primary sources of pollution in the river. These pollutants can negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem of the Mississippi River by reducing oxygen levels, decreasing the water clarity and impairing the growth of fish and insects.

In addition to industrial and agricultural pollution, the effects of climate change have an increasing impact on the Mississippi River. Warmer temperatures and more frequent heavy rains can cause an increase in algae and zooplankton production as well as an increase in water turbidity. Furthermore, higher water temperatures can lead to lower oxygen levels in the water, reducing the abundance of certain species of fish.

The Mississippi River Commission has implemented a number of programs aimed at reducing pollution and improving the health of the river. These include a number of conservation measures such as sediment control procedures, water quality monitoring systems, best management practices and water treatment facilities. Additionally, the Commission has implemented a number of programs to encourage recreational fishing and wildlife conservation along the Mississippi River.

Significance of the Mississippi River in the Fishing Industry

The Mississippi River has long been a major source of sustenance to many people who rely on it for recreation, fishing and fishing-related income. In addition to sustaining fish populations and providing recreational opportunities, the Mississippi River serves as a major corridor for the transportation of goods and services throughout the United States.

The Mississippi River is home to a wide variety of fish species, many of which are sought after by anglers and sold commercially. The river supports a diverse range of sport fish including northern pike, muskellunge, flathead catfish, walleye, channel catfish and largemouth bass. Commercial fishing operations are also in place along the river, targeting primarily carp, buffalo, bluegill and crappie.

The economic impact of recreational fishing in the Mississippi River is substantial. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, total expenditures from recreational fishing and boating activities in Mississippi totaled approximately $1994 million in 2018. This amount included contributions from businesses related to the fishing and boating industry, such as lodging, camping, bait and tackle shops and marinas.

In addition to its significant economic impact, the Mississippi River also plays an important role in the cultural heritage of many communities along its length. The river has long served as the cultural and spiritual heart of many Native American and African-American communities, and its fish resources remain important to many of these cultures today.


The Mississippi River is home to a variety of fish species, each with its own unique characteristics. Anglers looking to fish on the Mississippi River should be aware of the laws and regulations of each state before they begin fishing. Additionally, it is also important to be aware of the pollution and climate change issues that are affecting the river and its fish populations.

Finally, the Mississippi River plays an important role in the fishing industry and the cultural heritage of many communities, and its fish resources remain an important part of this heritage. It is important that all anglers take steps to ensure the health of the Mississippi River and its fish populations for future generations of anglers.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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