Fish are characterized as scaly-skinned vertebrates that swim in water and breathe using gills. They are cold-blooded, meaning that their body temperature is regulated by their environment. Fish also lay eggs.
The Jordan River is home to many different species of native and non-native of fish.
The Jordan River was originally a cold-water fishery. However, due to human impact the river no long functions naturally. Introduced species have had both positive and negative effects on the river’s ecosystem. The following are a few Utah native species that continue to call the Jordan River home.
After overfishing caused the depletion of native species, non-native fish were introduced to the Jordan River and Utah Lake. The most common species of fish encountered today is the common carp. Historically, the Utah Division of Wildlife resources would regularly stock the river with catfish and rainbow trout.
Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Common carp are so common that they account for the vast majority of the fish by weight throughout the Jordan River. These are large omnivorous fish that eat nearly everything and reproduce rapidly.
These fish were introduced to the river to support fishing. Due to the high numbers of carp in the river, catching these fish is still encouraged today. However, eating fish from the Jordan River is not recommended.
Rainbow Trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss)
Rainbow trout are perhaps the most popular fish to catch. These fish do well in hatcheries and are adaptable to most environments, making them easy to artificially stock. These fish are also said to be good for human consumption, but eating fish caught from the Jordan River is inadvisable.
Despite the popularity of the rainbow trout, this species still competes for resources of native fish, and will even hybridize with the Bonneville cutthroat trout.