People familiar with the bright colors of fishes available in pet stores often are not aware of the beauty and brilliant colors of some of the native fishes of Arkansas. Unfortunately, because Arkansas is in a temperate climatic zone, the colors of some of the native fishes are most spectacular in the spring but fade somewhat during other seasons. In Arkansas, four families of fishes tend to have males that display brilliant colors: the Percidae (the darters, which are true perches), the Centrarchidae (or sunfishes, sometimes called perches or bream), the Cyprinidae (the minnows), and the Fundulidae (the topminnows). Other Arkansas fish families are the Ictaluridae and the Cottidae.
Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui) A view from above reveals the mottled pattern that helps the fish to blend in with its environment.