Pine Barrens streams are good habitat for a very limited range of fish species, because of the streams’ acidity. Most fish cannot reproduce in the Pine Barrens’ naturally acid waters, because the acidity interferes with the development of their eggs.
The relatively low level of algae and aquatic vegetation may also exclude some species thatnrequire their habitat to provide a greater quantity or variety of food. Native fishes include New Jersey species that are only found in the Pine Barrens and those that thrive both in the Pine Barrens and in other, non-acidic waters.
Species found in the Pine Barrens are Banded Sunfish, Blackbanded Sunfish, Pirate Perch, Mud Sunfish, Swamp Darter and Yellow Bullhead. Species found in the Pine Barrens and elsewhere in New Jersey are American Eel, Bluespotted Sunfish, Eastern Mudminnow, Redfin Pickerel, Chain Pickerel, Creek Chubsucker and Tadpole Madtom. There are several species of fish that are not found in pristine Pine Barrens waters, but are sometimes found in streams that have been altered and degraded by pollution. These species include Tesselated Darter, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Pumpkinseed, Brown Bullhead, Golden Shiner and Yellow Perch.