redbreast sunfish spawning phase male
Redbreast Sunfish (spawning phase male)

Located between the Appalachian mountains and the Mid Atlantic coast, warmwater streams contain an incredible diversity of fish and wildlife. These small waterways tend to have moderate currents, although stream conditions can vary considerably over time.

In many of these streams, populations of fish can vary considerably depending on seasonal influences, water levels, and other factors.

In the Mid Atlantic states, a number of warmwater streams sustain seasonal spawning migrations of anadromous fish. Among the most well known species are American shad, hickory shad, river herring, striped bass, white perch, and yellow perch.

In addition to seasonal runs of anadromous fish, many streams contain a variety of native fish species. Among the most common are members of the bass and sunfish family, largemouth, smallmouth and rock bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, redbreast sunfish, fallfish, chain pickerel, northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish, white catfish, brown bullheads, and others.

A number of warmwater stream structures are known for producing fish. Areas where feeder streams converge into a main channel can be productive. These junctions attract larger fish which lurk in deeper water waiting to feed on baitfish or other prey that gets swept into the open.

Stumps, tree trunks, and other timber can also attract fish. Although these obstructions provide shelter for fish, they can wreak havoc on fishing tackle. To deal with snags, stream anglers employ a number of specialized rigs and techniques.

Related Information

Waterways – Rivers and Lakes