Flowing through the heart of Missouri, the Missouri River is home to a diverse array of aquatic life. Among the inhabitants of this iconic river are some of the largest and most impressive fish species found in the state. In this article, we dive into the depths of the Missouri River to explore the biggest fish species that call it home.

1. Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula)

  • Length: Up to 10 feet
  • Weight: Over 300 pounds
  • Habitat: Slow-moving waters, often found near vegetation

2. Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

  • Length: Up to 7 feet
  • Weight: Over 150 pounds
  • Habitat: Open waters, known for their unique bill-like snout

3. Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)

  • Length: Up to 3 feet
  • Weight: Around 8 pounds
  • Habitat: Shallow, weedy areas with slow-moving waters

4. Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

  • Length: Up to 3 feet
  • Weight: Over 50 pounds
  • Habitat: Diverse habitats, often found near structures

5. Flathead Catfish (Pylodictus olivaris)

  • Length: Up to 5 feet
  • Weight: Over 100 pounds
  • Habitat: Deep pools, slow-moving waters with cover

6. White Bass (Morone chrysops)

  • Length: Up to 18 inches
  • Weight: Around 4 pounds
  • Habitat: Open waters, often found in schools

7. Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis)

  • Length: Up to 4 feet
  • Weight: Over 60 pounds
  • Habitat: Open waters, migratory species

8. Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)

  • Length: Up to 3 feet
  • Weight: Around 60 pounds
  • Habitat: Various habitats, adaptable species

9. Sucker Fish (various species)

  • Length: Varies by species
  • Weight: Varies by species
  • Habitat: Bottom-dwelling fish, diverse habitats

10. Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens)

  • Length: Up to 3 feet
  • Weight: Over 40 pounds
  • Habitat: Various habitats, often found near the bottom

The Missouri River provides a home to an impressive range of fish species, some of which grow to remarkable sizes. From the prehistoric-looking Alligator Gar to the formidable Flathead Catfish, these aquatic giants contribute to the rich biodiversity of the river.

As anglers and enthusiasts explore the waters of the Missouri River, they have the chance to encounter these majestic fish that have thrived in its currents for centuries.


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