Trout Perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)
With the adipose fin of a trout and the look of a small perch, what is this fish? Well ... it's neither a trout nor a perch, if you can believe it. Also known as the grounder or the sand minnow, the trout-perch serves as an important member of the food webs in the waterways it calls home throughout North America. There, it bridges an important gap in its ecosystem. Usually residing in deeper waters, the trout-perch travels to shallower areas with sand and gravel bottoms at dusk and back to its normal depth at dawn. This hunt for food likely turns into a gauntlet-run more than anything, as walleye, lake trout, and northern pike interfere with this poor fella's nightly grocery run.