Marine Life in Lake Michigan Dive Chicago™ (312) 922-5090

Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus

Length: 6 inches 

Weight: 4 ounces

Coloring: silvery with blue or blue-green metallic luster on back

Common names: mulhaden, grey herring, golden shad, seth, skipjack

Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar

Length: 26 inches

Weight: 4 pounds

Coloring: brown, green or blue on top; silvery on sides, and silvery white below

Common names: Kennebec salmon, sebago, sebago salmon, grilse, kelt

Bloater Coregonus hoyi

Length: 9 inches

Weight: 8 ounces

Coloring: silvery with some pink and purple iridescence,with a greenish tinge above lateral line and a silvery white ventral surface

Common names: bloater chub, bloat, chub, Hoy's cisco, cisco de fumage (French)

Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis

Length: 10 to 16 inches

Weight: 11 ounces to 2 pounds

Coloring: olive-green to dark brown on back, lighter on sides and silvery white on underside

Common names: Eastern brook trout, speckled trout, coaster, aurora trout, square-tail, sea trout

Brown Trout Salmo trutta

Length: 16 to 24 inches

Weight: 2 to 8 pounds

Coloring: light brown or tawny back, becoming silvery on the sides and belly

Common names: brownie, German brown trout, German trout, European brown trout, breac

Burbot Lota lota

Length: 15 to 22 inches

Weight: 1 to 3 pounds

Coloring: mottled olive-green to shades of brown on back; cream-colored underneath

Common names: lawyer, American burbot, ling, eelpout, loche, freshwater cod

Carp Cyprinus Carpio

Length: 1 to 16 inches

Weight: 1 to 7 pounds

Coloring: olive-green on back; yellowish belly

Common names: German carp, European carp, mirror carp, leather carp

Crawfish Procambarus clarkii

Length: 1 to 16 inches

Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Length: 20 to 35 inches

Weight: 3 to 15 pounds

Coloring: iridescent green to blue-green on back; sides below lateral line silvery; silvery to white underside

Common names: king salmon, tyee, spring salmon, quinnat

Coho Salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch

Length: 11 to 26 inches

Weight: 2 to 8 pounds

Coloring: steel-blue to slightly green on back; bright silver on sides; white underside

Common names: coho, silver salmon, sea trout, blueback

Freshwater Drum Aplodinotus grunniens

Length: up to about 14 inches, although it may become quite large in rivers

Weight: 5-15 pounds, world record is 54 1/2 pounds

Coloring: Gray or silvery in turbid waters, bronze-colored in clearer waters. The head is somewhat darker than the rest of the body; the ventral portion of the fish is white. The pectoral and pelvic fins are white, but the rest of the fins are dusky.

Common names: sheepshead, croaker, thunder pumper, lake drum, grunt, bubbler, grinder

Freshwater Sponge Porifera

Weight: 15 to 25 mm

Lake Herring Coregonus artedii

Length: 11 to 15 inches

Weight: 6 ounces to 2 pounds

Coloring: silvery with pink to purple iridescence

Common names: cisco, tullibee, freshwater herring

Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens

Length: 3 to 5 feet

Weight: 10 to 80 pounds

Coloring: olive-brown to grey on back and sides, with white belly

Common names: freshwater sturgeon, rock sturgeon,bony sturgeon, smoothback

Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush

Length: 17 to 27 inches

Weight: 3 to 9 pounds

Coloring: light spots on darker background, light underside

Common names: Great Lakes trout, laker, namaycush,togue, grey trout, mountain trout

Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis

Length: 17 to 22 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 4 pounds

Coloring: silvery with pale greenish-brown back, fins clear or lightly pigmented

Common names: whitefish, Sault whitefish, gizzard fish, grande coregone, (French), Attikumaig (Chippewa)

Longnose Sucker Catostomus catostomus

Length: 12 to 18 inches

Weight: 12 ounces to 2 pounds

Coloring: dark olive or grey to nearly black on back and upper sides, cream to white on lower sides and ventral surface of head and body

Common names: sturgeon sucker, northern sucker, red sucker

Muskellunge Esox masquinongy

Length: varies by lake, maximum of over 5 feet , trophy size of more than 50 inches

Weight: varies by lake, maximum of almost 70 pounds, trophy size of 40 pounds or more

Coloring: dark colored bars on a light-colored background of silvery green to light brown

Common names: muskie or musky, maskinonge, leopard muskellunge

Northern Pike Esox Lucieus

Length: 18 to 30 inches

Weight: 20 ounces to 8 pounds

Coloring: dark shades green, through olive green to brown on back and upper sides; lighter on lower sides; cream to milk-white on underside

Common names: pike, great northern pike, jack, pickerel

Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax

Length: 7 to 9 inches

Weight: 3 ounces

Coloring: silvery with pale green back; iridescent purple, blue and pink on sides

Common names: smelt, American smelt, leefish, freshwater smelt, frost fish

Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

Length: 20 to 30 inches

Weight: 2 to 8 pounds

Coloring: steel-blue, blue-green, yellow-green to almost brown on back; silvery sides; silvery white below

Common names: steelhead trout, coast rainbow trout, silver trout

Round Goby Neogobius melanostomus

Length: 4 to 10 inches (250 mm)


Coloring: grey with blotches of black and brown over their bodies, dorsal fin may be tinged with green, the front dorsal fin has a distinctive large black spot

Common names: Round goby, goby

Round Whitefish Prosopium cylindraceum

Length: 12 to 19 inches

Weight: 2 to 3 pounds

Coloring: brown with green tinge on back, silvery sides and silvery white belly

Common names: menominee, pilot fish, frost fish, round-fish, menominee whitefish

Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus

Length: 12 to 20 inches

Weight: 8 to 13 ounces

Coloring: grey-blue back, metallic violet on sides, shading to silver-white underneath

Common names: great sea lamprey, lake lamprey, lamprey, lamprey eel

Salamander Necturus maculosus

Length: 5 to 12 inches

Coloring: dark brown or gray body, may be darkly spotted

Common names: mud puppy,waterdog

Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieui

Length: 15 to 20 inches

Weight: 1.5 to 5 pounds

Coloring: brown, golden-brown through olive to green on back; sides lighter; cream to milk-white underside

Common names: northern smallmouth bass, black bass, brown bass, white or mountain trout

Walleye Stizostedion vitreum

Length: 13 to 25 inches

Weight: 1 to 5 pounds

Coloring: olive-brown to golden-brown to yellow on back; paler sides; yellowish white underside

Common names: walleye pike, yellow walleye, pickerel, yellow pickerel, pike-perch, wall-eyed pickerel, dore (French)

White Perch Morone americana

Length: Usually 5-7 inches (127-178mm)

Weight: Average 8 ounces

Coloring: variable, dark grayish-green, dark silvery green, or dark brown to almost black on back; pale olive or silvery green on sides; silvery white on belly

Common names: white perch, narrow-mouthed bass, silver perch, sea perch

White Sucker Catostomus commersoni

Length: 12 to 20 inches

Weight: 2 to 4 pounds

Coloring: grey, coppery brown through brown to black on back; creamy white on lower sides and below

Common names: common sucker, eastern sucker, grey sucker, mullet, black mullet, bay fish

Yellow Perch Perca flavescens

Length: 6 to 10 inches

Weight: 6 to 16 ounces

Coloring: bright green to olive to golden brown on back; yellow-green, yellow on sides; grey to milk-white below

Common names: perch, lake perch, American perch

Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha

Length: fingernail-sized  

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