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Johnny darter illustration

Johnny Darter

Perch Family: Walleye, sauger and yellow perch are popular game fish in this family. Darters, which seldom exceed 4 inches, also belong to the perch family.

Johnny Darter Identification

  • Two completely separated dorsal fins
  • A colorful species that can be identified by the series of black “w” or “x” shapes scattered across its sides.
  • Adults are typically 1.5 to 2.5 inches long


The Johnny darter is one of several species of darters found in North Dakota.

Darters live in swift-moving streams and apparently are not important prey for larger fish because of their small size and habit of hiding under rocks and in crevices.

They feed on small aquatic insect larvae.