Learn the State Fish of Each State in the USA


This is the first in a series of fun and interesting posts that will discuss the official state fish of every state in America. We’ll also be listing the states in the order in which they joined the union, so if you plan on entering any trivia contests in the near future, this series should be right up your alley. Without any further ado, let’s get started.

1. Delaware – Entered the Union on December 7, 1787

State Fish – Weakfish

Delaware State Fish






The Weakfish is the official state fish of Delaware, the first state to officially become a part of the United States of America. It gets its name from its rather weak mouth muscles. Its weakness can actually be advantageous though, since the musculature is so weak that a hook will often rip right through it, allowing the fish to escape capture. They tend to feature a greenish/brown color on their heads and back, with lighter, silver colored sides.  They can typically grow up to 3 feet in length and achieve a weight of 20 lbs. Their taste is said to be like a mixture of Bluefish and Mackerel. In Connecticut, the Weakfish season runs all year long.

2. Pennsylvania – Entered the Union on December 12, 1787

State Fish – Striped Bass

Pennsylvania State Fish






The Striped Bass is a famous fish with many nicknames. Some of these include Striper, Linesider, Rock, Rockfish, and Pimpfish. Yeah… trust us, we didn’t make that last one up. The Striped Bass is in abundant population along the Atlantic Coast  from the southern states up through Canada. Striped Bass tend to spawn in freshwater but are for most of their lives a saltwater fish. They are very popular among sport fishermen as they are known to grow to great sizes. In fact, the largest striped bass ever caught was captured right here in Connecticut and weighed in at 81.88 lbs. The Striped Bass is a long-lived fish, with an average lifespan of around 30 years. This is a very meaty fish, great for grilling or frying and is open for fishing year-round in Connecticut.

3. New Jersey – Entered the Union on December 18, 1787

State Fish – Brook Trout

New Jersey State Fish






The Brook Trout is actually a member of the Salmon family and is most closely related to the Arctic Char. It is largely a freshwater fish and is found throughout rivers the eastern portion of the United States and spanning as far west as the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. In appearance, the Brook Trout is usually brown with a mottled, speckled pattern on its sides and is rather small, rarely exceeding 15 lbs in weight. The Brook Trout needs to live in clean waters and is very sensitive to any form of pollution. When prepared to eat, they usually tend to have a mildly oily taste that has been described by many as “Earthy” and features a light and flaky texture.

4. Georgia – Entered the Union on January 2, 1788

State Fish – Largemouth Bass

Georgia State Fish






The Largemouth Bass is another fish that goes by many different names. Just a few of its monikers include Bigmouth, Black Bass, and Bucketmouth. They possess an olive-green tone on their backs and sides, along with some dark blotches randomly places on their flanks. They typically live to be about 16 years old and rarely surpass a weight of 25 lbs. They are another fish that are highly popular among those who fish for sport and they cover a wide range of territory throughout the United States and Canada. They feature a more coarse texture than most Bass varieties and taste quite similar to Catfish. This is yet another fish that may be caught all through the year in Connecticut, except for in areas where signs strictly prohibit it.

5. Connecticut – Entered the Union on January 9, 1788
State Fish – American Shad

Connecticut State Fish







As you already know from our previous post on American Shad, this delicious swimmer is our official state fish. In case you don’t happen to be familiar with shad, it is a freshwater fish that is plentiful in the Connecticut River. Its scientific name is Alosa Sopidissima, with the 2nd part of the name being the Latin word for “very tasty”. It has a rich flavor and a texture that has often described as being buttery and on the oily side. Like many of the fish we’ve talked about, it’s rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, so it’s both delicious and healthy at the same time. As if this were not enough, George Washington, the father of our great country was known to have a special fondness for shad, going on record as having declared it to be his favorite fish. That’s right – eating shad isn’t only delicious and healthy, it’s patriotic too! If you want to catch some American Shad, remember that the season typically opens on the first Sunday in April and ends on June 30th. For the most part, you are only allowed to pursue American Shad in the Connecticut River.

6. Massachusetts – Entered the Union on February 6, 1788

State Fish – Cod

Massachusetts State Fish






Chances are, if you’ve ever had fish and chips, then you’ve also had Cod. The Atlantic Cod, to be more specific, is the state fish of Massachusetts and has a mild, light flavor that is appealing to nearly everybody. Cod has a dense and somewhat flaky flesh and is bursting with nutrients. The Atlantic Cod is an excellent source of Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids. While in the wild, the Atlantic Cod tends to inhabit colder waters and typically is a deep swimmer. It has a greenish brown back with slightly lighter sides and a white underside. While usually only weighing in between 11-25 lbs, a few of these tasty fellows have reached weights of more than 200 lbs. A highly social fish, the Atlantic Cod is often found swimming in schools with its brethren.

7. Maryland – Entered the Union on April 28, 1788

State Fish – Striped Bass

Maryland State Fish







Much like Pennsylvania, the Striped Bass is the official state fish of Maryland.

8. South Carolina – Entered the Union on May 23, 1788

State Fish – Striped Bass

South Carolina State Fish







As is the case with Maryland and Pennsylvania, South Carolina’s state fish is the Striped Bass.

9. New Hampshire – Entered the Union on June 21, 1788

State Fish – Brook Trout (Freshwater) Striped Bass (Saltwater)

New Hampshire State Fish

New Hampshire and Virginia each have two official state fish – one for freshwater and one for saltwater. For both states, the Brook Trout is the state freshwater fish and the Striped Bass is the state saltwater fish.

10. Virginia – Entered the Union on June 25, 1788

State Fish –  Brook Trout (Freshwater) Striped Bass (Saltwater)

Virginia State Fish


To close out this post, we’ll share with you a simple-yet-delicious recipe for Pan Fried Brook Trout, courtesy of Cooks.com.

Pan Fried Brook Trout

Ingredients: 3 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 7 tbsp of butter, 2 tbsp of minced chives, 2 tbsp of flour, 4 Brook Trout (cleaned but with head and tail left on), and salt (to taste)1

Directions: 1. Rinse the fish under cold water and then pat it dry using paper towels.
2. Place the olive oil and 3 tbsp of the butter into a large frying pan and then add in the fish, after lightly coating it with flour and salt. Cook over medium-high heat.
3. Turn the fish over when the bottom side has browned and cook for 3 more minutes.
4. Melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and add in the chives and lemon juice.
5. Once the fish has finished cooking, place it on to a platter or serving sheet and pour on the sauce1.

Works Cited
1. Author Unavailable
Pan-Fried Brook Trout

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