Native and Nonindigenous Fish

Native and Nonindigenous Freshwater Fish in North Carolina

Currently, more than 220 species of freshwater fish are known from North Carolina. There are also several undescribed species of suckers and several problematic species of cyprinids, sculpins, and darters. The most species rich river basins are the Yadkin-Pee Dee and the Roanoke. In North Carolina, at least 80 species have been transported from one river basin to another, from another state into North Carolina, or from another continent into North Carolina. More than 50 percent of the species in the New River basin are non-native, the greatest percentage of any of the 17 river basins in the state.

Lists of the known native and introduced freshwater species in North Carolina can be found in the files linked below. Estuarine species are not included. Scientific names follow Nelson, et al. (2004) and Warren, et al. (2000). Additional information on non-indigenous fish species may be found online at:



Researchers are encouraged to voucher specimens, especially those representing range extensions, at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences. Please contact Ms. Gabriela M. Hogue ( or 919-707-8868), Collections Manager of Fishes, for for further information.

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Updated January 2017


Water Sciences Section 1621 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1621 919.743.8400