Percidae - Perch Family


 FANTAIL DARTER - Etheostoma flabellare

fantail darter fish

 Fish Notes

The fantail darter is part of a group of fishes that have rudimentary or no air bladders to regulate their position in the water column.  These fish spend their time on the stream bottom feeding primarily on aquatic insects.  The fantail darter was found at 26 percent of Fairfax County sampling sites.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 2 to 3 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects

 map of fantail darter distribution

 


  GREENSIDE DARTER - Etheostoma blennioides

greenside darter fish 

 Fish Notes

This darter inhabits the bottom of swift flowing streams where its lack of a swim bladder allows the darter to hug the bottom of the stream.  The greenside darter was found at two percent of Fairfax County sampling sites.

Fairfax County Native: Unknown

Size: 4 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects

map of greenside darter distribution  

 

 


  SHIELD DARTER - Percina peltata

 shield darter fish

 Fish Notes

This darter is a benthic species meaning that it inhabits the bottom of the stream.  The lack of a swim bladder allows the darter to stay at the bottom of the stream.  The shield darter is rare in Fairfax County and was found at only three sampling sites.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 3 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects

 map of shield darter distribution

 


  STRIPEBACK DARTER - Percina notogramma

stripeback darter fish 

 Fish Notes

The stripeback darter is rare in Fairfax County.  It was only found at one sampling site. It is easily distinguished from other local darters by the line of black circles down its side.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 3 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects

 map of stripeback darter distribution

 


 TESSELLATED DARTER - Etheostoma olmstedi  

tessellated darter fish 

Fish Notes

The tessellated darter is the most common darter found in Fairfax County and the fourth most common fish collected.  The males of the species are known to care for the nests of other tessellated darters (known as alloparental care).  The tessellated darter was found at 67 percent of Fairfax County sampling sites.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 2 to 3 inches

Diet: Aquatic insects

 map of tessellated darter distribution

 


  YELLOW PERCH - Perca flavescens

 yellow perch fish

Fish Notes

Yellow perch are residents of the tidal Potomac River and rarely venture inland into Fairfax County streams.  Yellow perch are easy to catch and are considered one of the tastiest freshwater fish.  The Virginia state record is 2 pounds, 7 ounces.  The yellow perch was found at one Fairfax County sampling site.

Fairfax County Native: Yes

Size: 12 inches, rarely larger

Diet: Fish, aquatic insects and other invertebrates

 map of yellow perch distribution

 

References

Jenkins, R. E., N. M. Burkhead, 1994, Freshwater Fishes of Virginia, 1079 pgs., American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD

For more information, please e-mail the Stormwater Planning Division or call 703-324-5500, TTY 711

 


Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version