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From the Field

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  • IRBS staffer holds a large-mouth bass

    60+ years of monitoring large river fishes in Illinois

    For Outdoor Illinois Journal, INHS scientists Andrya Whitten, Jason DeBoer, and Jim Lamer describe how INHS has been monitoring large-river fishes in Illinois, tracking changes in the Illinois River fish community, water quality and habitat, since 1957.

  • pile asian carp

    IRBS has record-breaking Asian carp harvest

    The Illinois River Biological Station’s (IRBS) Upper Mississippi River Asian carp removal crew partnered with commercial fishermen to remove a record-breaking 87,500 pounds of silver, bighead, and grass carp from the Mississippi River as part of their annual intensive Asian carp harvest.

  • scientist holding large paddlefish

    American paddlefish

    Learn about the American paddlefish—also called the spoonbill, spoonbill cat, shovelnose cat, and boneless cat—from the INHS Great Rivers Field Station!

  • breeding male bowfin with blue mouth


    Learn about bowfin, a prehistoric fish with a native range spanning much of eastern North America, from the INHS Great Rivers Field Station!

  • channel catfish

    Channel Catfish

    Learn about the channel catfish, also known as the spotted catfish, fiddler, lady cat, chucklehead catfish, willow cat, and even blue cat, from the INHS Great Rivers Field Station!

  • Asian carp species

    Asian carp species

    “Asian carp” is the collective term that refers to bighead carp, silver carp, black carp, and grass carp. These invasive species were originally brought into the United States for aquaculture in the 1960s and 1970s, but through flooding, legal releases, and illegal releases, they have become established in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and beyond.

  • tadpole madtom

    Tadpole madtom

  • redspotted sunfish

    Redspotted sunfish

  • smallmouth buffalo

    Smallmouth buffalo

  • scientist holding freshwater drum

    Freshwater drum

  • scientist holding shorthead redhorse

    Shorthead redhorse

  • flathead catfish head

    Flathead catfish

  • northern hog sucker

    Northern Hog Sucker

  • pumpkinseed sunfish


  • Bowfin mouth


  • painting of a Southern Redbelly Dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster) by Lydia Moore Hart

    Lydia Moore Hart: Biological Illustrator

    Lydia Moore Hart, together with Charlotte M. Pinkerton, created the original watercolors and illustrations that graced the pages of The Fishes of Illinois. Hart began working at the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1891. She spent part of her time at a field station in Havana, Illinois, where an aquarium was maintained with "a continuous flow of water to keep fishes alive." She used these fishes to render drawings that were "accurate in detail, and true to life in color, form, and attitude."