Also known as: drum, sheepshead
Description: Silvery, deep-bodied fish with a long dorsal fin, rounded tail fin, and steep, up-sloping head and back. The only freshwater species of this family, the others are marine. It can emit a peculiar grunting/croaking sound by using muscles to vibrate its swim bladder. They have unusually large otoliths (ear stones) within the inner ear that can be polished and used as jewelry. It is primarily a bottom-feeder; diet mainly consists of clams, snails, and crayfish, along with immature aquatic insects and small fish. The flattened, relatively large throat-teeth are used to crush mollusc shells. Often caught by anglers.
Type: Commercial Fish
Range: Statewide, rare in Panhandle and Sandhills.