Rare and Imperiled Fish Species

Florida has 30 freshwater and anadromous fish species that are identified as Endangered, Threatened or Rare as described in the FWC Rare Fish Guidelines. The majority of these species inhabit small stream systems in the Panhandle. Several, such as the sturgeons, shads, and river redhorse, are associated with the large river systems and may have spawning sites in the upstream state. Others are known from highly vegetated lakes, ponds and permanently wet prairies.

The suggested survey protocols were developed for all freshwater fish collections for both wade-able and non-wade-able streams, rivers, and lakes. The links to the FNAI species profile pages are for those species listed. The above-referenced FWC rare fish report provides additional detailed information on all of the 30 rare or imperiled fish species.

FNAI Species Profiles:

Rare and Imperiled Fish Resources:


Disclaimer: Surveys that require the handling or possible disturbance of an imperiled species are not recommended for a majority of projects. Projects that do meet this requirement, such as for research purposes or species relocations, require either a scientific collection permit issued by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or a species permit issued by the FWC, depending on the species in question.