The author’s choice? The smallmouth bass. USFWS photo.
It’s a silly question, but it’s fun. And it’s Friday.
If you were to vote for a national fish, what would it be?
The brook trout currently holds the title of most revered freshwater “state fish” with nine states—including Michigan, Pennsylvani and New York—making it their choice. I’d suggest that brown trout are probably more in tune with pop culture in places in Michigan now, but they aren’t eligible, because they aren’t natives. It’s kind of like that rule that a person can’t be president of the U.S. if they weren’t actually born here, which is stupid, but it is what it is.
I can’t vote for a saltwater fish because I live in a landlocked state, but if I did, it would be Hawaii’s Humumumunukunukuapua’a. I’ve actually seen them while scuba diving, and they are cool fish, but really, I’d just get a kick out of listening to people try to pronounce that.
Not that names are all that important, but c’mon, Delaware… weakfish? Are you serious?
Of course western states lean toward cutthroats, but their own brands—greenbacks in Colorado, Bonnevilles in Utah, so with no consensus, that’s a dead end.
Washington chose the steelhead, and Oregon the Chinook salmon… so it would be nice if more people in those states would support efforts to remove dams and let these species spawn before they go extinct within the next 20 years… or start looking for new state fish.
As for me, I’m going to go off the board a bit. Legend has it (and it’s just legend because it apparently isn’t really true) that when America was choosing its national bird, everyone liked the bald eagle except Ben Franklin. He was into a more resourceful, resilient—albeit uglier—species… the wild turkey.
I will therefore cast my lot for the wild turkey that swims.
The smallmouth bass.