Do you know your state fish?
America is a unified country, but it's also a collection of states. To preserve and honor each state’s unique heritage and history, those states boast their own flags, songs, and even their own soil. Most states have actually written into a law a specific state fish. Sometimes the designated swimmer is chosen because it's the most abundant in that particular state's waters. Other times, the fish serves as a central component of the state's history, whether it nourished state inhabitants, served as an important commercial export, or captured the imaginations of the state's native populations and earliest settlers.
Most of America's 50 states so deeply revere a particular fish that lawmakers put pen to paper to codify its status as the underwater inhabitant with which the state is associated with in the eyes of the world. Here's a look at America's official state fish.
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Clue (freshwater): This fish is consideredto be one of the most aggressive predators in its ecosystem, even though it is the most popular game fish in the United States, particularly in the southern states. Catch it swimming in a body of freshwater nearby.
Clue (saltwater): Reaching 280 pounds and nicknamed the "silver king," these fish can be found along the Alabama coast and Mobile estuary. The species' greatest predatory advantage is its ability to its inflate its swim bladder with air like a lung, providing an edge when the water's oxygen levels are low.
Answers: Largemouth bass (freshwater), fighting tarpon (saltwater)
Clue: Massive beasts that can weigh more than 100 pounds, this fish's instinct-driven habits epitomize the circle of life. They hatch in freshwater, live briefly in the ocean, and then swim thousands of miles to return to the same stream where they were born to lay eggs of their own before dying.
Answer: King salmon
Clue: This fish is found nowhere in the entire world beyond the approximately 820 miles of cold, gravel-bottomed streams of Arizona's White Mountains. Once pushed to the edge of extinction, it is rebounding but still endangered.
Answer: Apache trout
Clue: Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially made this prehistoric creature the state fish of Arkansas in March 2019 following an 11-year-old boy's campaign. The primitive fish is the largest species in its family and is one of the biggest freshwater fish in North America.
Answer: Alligator gar
Clue (freshwater): California is the Golden State, and the name of this fish incorporates both the state's proper name and its nickname. Once found only in a few cold streams on the Kern River, hatcheries have now dramatically expanded its range.
Clue (saltwater): This vibrant orange fish from the damselfish family was named after a 19th-century Italian military and political figure. These fish ply subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean around the Central Coast of California down through Baja California.
Answers: California golden trout (freshwater), Garibaldi (saltwater)2018 All rights reserved.