Although Canada is a large country with vast freshwater resources, the freshwater fish fauna is fairly depauperate, less than 200 species (there are another 800 marine species). This is probably due to the recent retreat of glaciers, only 10 000 years ago. The fish fauna of Canada is still being established. In comparison, the Great Lakes state of Ohio, which wasn't entirely glaciated, has over 170 species.
Quebec lakes and rivers contain approximately 100 species of freshwater fish. Below are listed representative species of fish from every major family found in the St. Lawrence River. For a complete list of the freshwater fishes of southern Quebec, click here.
The data used to make the distribution maps was made available by the Quebec Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune. Currently, we have mapped the distribution of fish only in the Saint Lawrence River. In time, we hope to collect fish distribution data from all 16 regions of the province, to map province-wide distributions.
The St. Lawrence River data was collected by the Ministère between 1995 and 1997, within the framework of the St. Lawrence Action Plan - Vision 2000. The goal of this sampling effort was to collect baseline information on the diversity and distribution of fish species in the river.
The texts on individual fish were written by Jake Vander Zanden. Images of individual fish species come from Freshwater Fishes of Canada, written by W.B. Scott and E.J. Crossman.
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