Nebraska is in the center of the Great Plains of North America. With its cold winters, hot summers and variable rainfall, it is a harsh place to be a fish. Yet, Nebraska is home to more than 100 species of fish, 78 of which are presumed to be native. The links below will acquaint you with Nebraska’s fish species.
Nebraska is home to more than 100 species of fish. It is important to have a basic ability to identify the variety of fish species found in Nebraska because of fishing regulations for different species. In addition, a knowledge of the variety of fish found in the state will increase your understanding and appreciation for our fish and aquatic resources. These pages will aid you in your discoveries.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are exotic or non-native aquatic organisms that pose a significant threat to the aquatic resources, water supplies or water infrastructure of this state. These organisms can be plants, fish, mussels, crayfish, invertebrates or pathogens.
Nebraska is home to more than 100 species of fish, 78 of which are presumed to be native. Nebraska was originally a land of streams and rivers, but immigrants began building dams almost as soon as they arrived, resulting in thousands of ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Fish stocking into these ponds and lakes, which began in the 1880s, continues to this day. So, in addition to the native species we now have an additional 25 introduced fishes as well as six exotic species.
Nebraska has one of the most popular angler recognition programs in the country. Each year thousands of Nebraska anglers qualify as Master Anglers by catching trophy-size fish. Outstanding fish you catch may also qualify for a Master Angler Award. See rules and an application form and then search the Master Angler database for all the “secret” baits, times and waters to catch your trophy fish.
State record fish
More than 70 species of fish have been recognized as state records in Nebraska. These fish are the largest specimens documented to have been caught by rod and reel or taken by bowfishing, underwater spearfishing or surface spearfishing. Take a look at the list of these trophy fish, compare your biggest catches and then review the rules because you never know when you might catch the next state record.