Fish in the Pacific Northwest

 bull trout in stream
The diverse streams, rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest support numerous fish species, many of which are classified as game fish by the states of Oregon and Washington.  Pacific Northwest game fish include predominately native coldwater fish species, such as Pacific salmon, trout and char, as well as warmwater fish, largely introduced from midwest and eastern states.


See Fish Your National Forests! for information on fish found on the individual National Forests, and where to find them.


 Pictures of fish on this webpage are copyrighted.  To use these prints for other purposes, please obtain permission through the following website:

Pacific Northwest Fish

[Photo]: Sockeye Salmon

Native Salmon and Steelhead

Pacific Salmon include: Chinook, Coho, Sockeye (Kokanee), Pink and Chum Salmon. Steelhead are the anadromous life history form of Rainbow Trout.


[Photo]: Bull Trout

Native Trout and Char

Trout include: Rainbow, Redband, Westslope Cutthroat, and Coastal Cutthroat.

Char include: Dolly Varden and Bull Trout.


[Photo]: Yellow Perch

Non-native Fish

Some common non-native fish on the National Forests include: Eastern  Brook, Brown, Lake  Trout, Walleye, Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, Bluegill and Channel Catfish.


National Forests also contain some interesting endemic species. Lamprey are found in both anadromous and resident forms. Burbot (freshwater cod) are found in some northern Washington lakes. Smelt (Candlefish) were so named because of their very high oil content; the tiny fish return from the sea in irregular cycles, running by the thousands one year and disappearing for several more. Several fish species have adapted to the extremely harsh conditions and tiny pools of Great Basin springs and streams, like the Warner Valley Sucker and the many Goose Lake fishes.


More information about native, non-native, and game fish can be found on State websites.  Please visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information on fish species and fishing State  Regulations.