Great Lakes fishes


Since the very beginning of my career, I’ve been illustrating fishes of the Great Lakes region with the keen and generous guidance of the extraordinary fish biologist Dr. Gerald R. Smith (Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and Museum of Paleontology). Jerry’s deep knowledge of fish morphology across a vast number of species has been an invaluable resource, and his encouragement and trust in the early years of my freelance career were instrumental to my success.

I’ve had the privilege of working with him on several projects with a few different partners, including these publications:

• Smith, Gerald R. Guide to Great Lakes Fishes. The University of Michigan Press, 2010.
• Hubbs, Carl L., Karl F. Lagler and Gerald R. Smith. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region, Revised Edition. The University of Michigan Press, 2004
• Dann, Shari L. and Brandon C. Schroeder. The Life of the Lakes: A Guide to the Great Lakes Fishery. Michigan Sea Grant College Program, 2003

Below are the fishes I’ve illustrated from the Great Lakes region.

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Alewife – Emily S. Damstra


Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus fish illustration

American eel – Emily S. Damstra


American eel Anguilla rostrata illustration

Arctic grayling – Emily S. Damstra


Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus illustration

Bighead carp juvenile – Emily S. Damstra


Bighead carp juvenile illustration Hypophthalmichthys nobilis

Bigmouth buffalo – Emily S. Damstra


Bigmouth buffalo Ictiobus cyprinellus illustration

Black bullhead – Emily S. Damstra


Black bullhead Ameiurus melas illustration

Blackchin shiner – Emily S. Damstra


Blackchin shiner illustration Notropis heterodon

Blackstripe topminnow – Emily S. Damstra


Blackstripe topminnow illustration Fundulus notatus

Bluegill – Emily S. Damstra


Bluegill sunfish lepomis macrochirus illustration

Bluegill – Emily S. Damstra


Bluegill sunfish Lepomis macrochirus illustration

Bluntnose minnow – Emily S. Damstra


Bluntnose minnow Pimephales notatus illustration

Bowfin – Emily S. Damstra


bowfin amia calva illustration

Brassy minnow – Emily S. Damstra


Brassy minnow illustration Hybognathus hankinsoni

Brindled madtom – Emily S. Damstra


Brindled madtom illustration Noturus miurus

Brook trout – Emily S. Damstra


brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis illustration

Brown trout – Emily S. Damstra


brown trout salmo trutta illustration

Burbot – Emily S. Damstra


burbot lota illustration

Burbot juvenile – Emily S. Damstra


Burbot lota illustration

Central Johnny darter – Emily S. Damstra


johnny darter Etheostoma nigrum illustration

Channel catfish – Emily S. Damstra


Channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus illustration

Chinook salmon – Emily S. Damstra


Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha illustration

Coho salmon – Emily S. Damstra


Coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch illustration

Common carp – Emily S. Damstra


Common carp Cyprinus carpio illustration

Common shiner – Emily S. Damstra


Common shiner Luxilus cornutus illustration

Creek chub – Emily S. Damstra


Creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus illustration

Deepwater sculpin – Emily S. Damstra


Deepwater Sculpin Myoxocephalus thompsoni illustration

Emerald shiner – Emily S. Damstra


Emerald shiner Notropis atherinoides illustration

Eurasian ruffe – Emily S. Damstra


Ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus illustration

Fantail darter – Emily S. Damstra


Fantail darter Etheostoma flabellare illustration

Flathead catfish – Emily S. Damstra


Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris illustration

Freshwater drum – Emily S. Damstra


Freshwater drum Aplodinotus grunniens illustration

Gizzard shad – Emily S. Damstra


Gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum illustration

Grass carp juvenile – Emily S. Damstra


Grass carp juvenile illustration Ctenopharyngodon idella

Grass pickerel – Emily S. Damstra


Grass pickerel illustration Esox americanus

Green sunfish – Emily S. Damstra


Green sunfish lepomis cyanellus

Greenside darter – Emily S. Damstra


Greenside darter Etheostoma blennioides illustration

Lake chub – Emily S. Damstra


Lake chub Couesius plumbeus illustration

Lake herring (Cisco) – Emily S. Damstra


Lake herring Cisco Coregonus artedi illustration

Lake sturgeon – Emily S. Damstra


Lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens illustration

Lake trout – Emily S. Damstra


Lake trout salvelinus namaycush illustration

Lake whitefish – Emily S. Damstra


Lake whitefish coregonus clupeaformis illustration

Largemouth bass – Emily S. Damstra


largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides illustration

Logperch – Emily S. Damstra


Logperch Percina caprodes illustration

Longear sunfish – Emily S. Damstra


Longear sunfish Lepomis megalotis illustration

Longnose gar – Emily S. Damstra


Longnose gar illustration Lepisosteus osseus

Longnose gar juvenile – Emily S. Damstra


Longnose gar Lepisosteus osseus illustration

Mottled sculpin – Emily S. Damstra


mottled sculpin cottus bairdi illustration

Muskellunge – Emily S. Damstra


Muskellunge Esox masquinongy illustration

Ninespine stickleback – Emily S. Damstra


Ninespine stickleback Pungitius illustration

Northern pike – Emily S. Damstra


Northern pike Esoc lucius illustration

Northern Redbelly dace – Emily S. Damstra


Northern Redbelly dace Phoxinus eos illustration

Orangespotted sunfish – Emily S. Damstra


Orangespotted sunfish Lepomis humilis illustration

Pearl dace – Emily S. Damstra


Pearl dace Margariscus margarita illustration

Pumpkinseed – Emily S. Damstra


Pumpkinseed sunfish Lepomis gibbosus illustration

Quillback – Emily S. Damstra


Quillback Carpiodes cyprinus illustration

Rainbow darter – Emily S. Damstra


Rainbow darter Etheostoma caeruleum illustration

Rainbow smelt – Emily S. Damstra


Rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax illustration

Rock bass – Emily S. Damstra


Rock bass Ambloplites rupestris illustration

Rosyface shiner – Emily S. Damstra


Rosyface shiner Notropis rubellus illustration

Round goby – Emily S. Damstra


round goby neogobius melanostomus illustration

Round whitefish – Emily S. Damstra


Round whitefish Prosopium cylindraceum illustration

Scaly Johnny darter – Emily S. Damstra


johnny darter Etheostoma nigrum eulepis illustration

Sea lamprey – Emily S. Damstra


sea lamprey petromyzon marinus illustration

Shorthead redhorse – Emily S. Damstra


shorthead redhorse Moxostoma macrolepidotum illustration

Silver carp juvenile – Emily S. Damstra


silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix ilustration

Silver redhorse – Emily S. Damstra


Silver redhorse Moxostoma anisurum illustration

Slimy sculpin – Emily S. Damstra


Slimy sculpin illustration Cottus cognatus

Smallmouth bass – Emily S. Damstra


smallmouth bass illustration micropterus dolomieu

Spotfin shiner – Emily S. Damstra


Spotfin shiner Cyprinella spilopterus illustration

Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) – Emily S. Damstra


Steelhead Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss illustration

Threespine stickleback – Emily S. Damstra


Threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus illustration

Trout-perch – Emily S. Damstra


Trout-perch Percopsis omiscomaycus illustration

Walleye – Emily S. Damstra


Walleye Sander vitreus illustration

Warmouth sunfish – Emily S. Damstra


Warmouth sunfish Lepomis gulosus illustration

White bass – Emily S. Damstra


White bass Morone chrysops illustration

White perch – Emily S. Damstra


White perch Morone americana illustration

White sucker – Emily S. Damstra


White sucker Catostomus commersonii illustration

Yellow perch – Emily S. Damstra


Yellow perch Perca flavescens illustration