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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Fishes of North Dakota

Drum Family

Drum Family

This family contains many saltwater fishes but only one that lives entirely in freshwater. Some drum species have complicated swim bladders and make audible sounds, especially during spawning season.

Freshwater Drum

Also known as sheepshead and grunter, it is silver-gray and deep-bodied. The top fin is very long and almost separated into two parts. The tail is rounded. It has two "lucky stones" or ear bones located in its head. It feeds on the bottom in calm areas of deep rivers and lakes. Once commonly sold as "bass" by fish peddlers, it is considered good eating.
JPG -- Picture of a Freshwater Drum.

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