Each of the species on exhibit in the River Tank is native to the region and can be found swimming in the Chattahoochee River alongside our boardwalk or in the ponds on CNC property. Often in late spring you will see fishes jumping in the shallow waters along the Chattahoochee River. These are non-native grass carp that can reach over 4’ long and were introduced for weed control in the river.

Other introduced species in this stretch of the river include the rainbow trout, a native to the Pacific Northwest, and the brown trout, a native to Europe.

What Makes Fish Unique

>> They are ectothermic (cold-blooded, rely on their environment to maintain body temperature)

>> They breathe with gills and have fins for movement

>> Most hatch from eggs and have scales (catfish don’t!)

>>  Fishes is a real word! Fish = 1 type (e.g. bream), fishes = more than 1 type (e.g. catfish and bass)

>>  Most fishes have special coloring to help camouflage (countershading) – they are darker on top and lighter on their bellies

>>  Fishes have been on the Earth longer than any other vertebrate animal

>>  Fishes don’t have vocal cords, but can shriek, moan, wail, and grunt



Can you believe it cost CNC close to $38,000 a year to feed and care for all of our animals?

Donate now to help us take care of them!


meet some of our fish

The River Tank in the Watershed Gallery is a 3000 gallon model of the Chattahoochee River. All of the fish species in the exhibit can be found swimming right off CNC’s boardwalk. The brown bullhead and yellow bullhead catfish are the same individuals who have been on exhibit since the Discovery Center had its grand opening in 2006! And unlike the other fishes on exhibit, catfish don’t have scales! See if you can tell the difference between the red-eared sunfish and its cousin the bluegill.

Green Sunfish: Lepomis cyanellus

Green Sunfish: Lepomis cyanellus

Redear Sunfish: Lepomis microlophus

Redear Sunfish: Lepomis microlophus