Northern Logperch

Northern Logperch


A large darter reaching about 5-inches long. Its color is yellowish-green with about 15 dark crossbands. It usually has 15 dorsal fin rays and 9 anal rays. The top of the head is depressed between the eyes. There are 80 to 90 scales along the lateral line with a black spot at the base of the anal fin.


Northern Logperch Distribution

Entire Mississippi River drainage


Microcrustaceans and aquatic insects. They are sometimes seen turning small stones with the snout while searching for food.

State Record

5 inches

Expert Tip



The logperch is the most widely distributed of the darter species. It lives in many of the stream drainages throughout the eastern one-half of the United States and extends northward to the Churchill River, James Bay, and St. Lawrence basins in Canada. It appears the logperch has been introduced into many parts of this continent where it did not originally live. In Iowa it is found in the entire Mississippi River drainage. The logperch has adapted to a variety of habitats. It is found in some reservoirs which is unusual among the darter types.

The northern logperch spawns in June as females repeatedly enter an group of males and burrow into the sand bottom with a mounted male. Ten to 20 eggs are deposited at each encounter.

This species remains one of our most common darters. Siltation and other harmful effects caused by human activities have caused their numbers to decline in some locations.

Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.

Present in these Iowa water bodies:
Lake/Stream County Location Acres/Length
Clear Lake Cerro Gordo south edge of Clear Lake 3684.00
Prairie Park Fishery Linn 1.5 miles SSE of Cargill on Otis Road, along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids 42.00
Burr Oak Creek Mitchell Stream located just north of Osage. T98N, R16W, S4, 5, 9, 10 2.00