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.


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