Brook Trout: Dark body with light spots and a worm-like pattern on back, head and sides. The lower fins are typically red-orange with a white leading edge. Stocked Brook Trout are typically less colorful than wild Brook Trout.
Brown Trout: Light body with dark spots. The lower fins are typically brown, tan or nearly colorless and may have a white leading edge. Wild Brown Trout may have bright red and orange spots and an orange adipose fin. The tail is more rounded than forked. Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon look very similar.
Tiger Trout (hybrid): Worm-like markings covering the entire body. They usually do not have spots. Tiger Trout are a sterile cross between a male Brook Trout and a female Brown Trout.
Rainbow Trout: Light body with dark spots on the head and the tail. There is usually a pink band along each side.
Kokanee Salmon: Silver without spots until spawning season when they undergo significant changes in shape and color, turning red. Males often develop a large hooked jaw (kype). Kokanee Salmon die after they spawn.
Atlantic Salmon: Light body with dark spots. The adipose fin is brown or dark brown. The lower fins are brown with no color on the leading edge. There may be spots on the head and tail. Wild Atlantic Salmon recently entering freshwater typically are silver, turning brown after being in freshwater for a while. Small Atlantic Salmon will have a deeply-forked tail. Atlantic Salmon are stocked as fry into many tributaries of the Connecticut River. All Atlantic Salmon must be immediately released, unless it is from one of the areas the Inland Fisheries Division stocks with surplus adult Atlantic Salmon (see Atlantic Salmon & River Herring).
Bass, Perch & Walleye
Largemouth Bass: Dark stripe along the side of the body. The end of the jaw typically reaches past the eye.
Smallmouth Bass: May have vertical stripes on the side of the body. The end of the jaw typically reaches to the center of the eye.
Striped Bass: Light body, somewhat silver in color with a series of horizontal black bands along the side.
White Perch: Silver body and lack any spots or bands.
Yellow Perch: Yellow body with dark vertical bands and orange lower fins.
Walleye: Generally have a greenish or brownish back fading to a white belly. They may have irregular dark green blotches on the body. They have very large and sharp teeth.
Sunfish & Bass
Pumpkinseeds: Turquoise markings on the face and have a red dot on the gill cover.
Redbreast Sunfish: Some turquoise markings on the face. The gill cover has a long oval dark “ear”. The belly is usually a bright orange-red.
Rock Bass: Very large red-colored eye. The pattern on the side of the body resembles camouflage print.
Calico Bass (crappie): Distinct curved profile from the head to the dorsal fin. The body is silvery or brass colored with dark spots, and very thin when viewed from head on.
Bullhead & Catfish
Yellow Bullhead: Rounded tail and the chin whiskers are light colored. Both the belly and chin are usually yellow.
Channel Catfish: Forked tail (pointed tips), very long whiskers on the side of the mouth and dark chin whiskers. Compared to the white catfish, the channel catfish has a narrow head.
Brown Bullhead: Rounded tail and the chin whiskers are dark colored. Both the belly and chin are light colored and usually white.
White Catfish: Forked tail (rounded tips), very long whiskers on the side of the mouth and light chin whiskers. Compared to the channel catfish the white catfish has a broad head. The eyes may have a light blue band around the iris.
Pike & Pickerel
Northern Pike: Dark colored body with light spots. The entire cheek and only ½ of the gill cover is covered in scales. The mouth has large and sharp teeth.
Chain Pickerel: Yellow colored body with a dark “chain-like” pattern. Both the cheek and gill cover are completely covered with scales. Typically there is a dark vertical band below the eye. The mouth has large and sharp teeth.
Carp & Sucker
White Sucker: Streamlined body with a round mouth. The body is usually dark brown on top and bronze color on the side.
Common Carp: Can be a very large fish (up to 40 pounds) and have large scales. Carp have a small whisker on each side of the mouth.