About Us

Meet the Team

NCFishes is a labor of love. We do not get paid for any of the work you see here. In fact, it costs us lots of money annually in gear/hosting/hotels/gas etc. However, sharing our knowledge of fishes is something we truly enjoy, and you can’t put a price tag on that. Outside of our own work, we receive a lot of help from family, colleagues, and from fishermen who contact us with weird fishes. We can’t thank those who have helped us over the years enough. If you would like to join us in the field one day, please get in touch!

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Photographer & Biologist

Scott is a biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. His interests include species identification, fish photography, and fisheries data analytics (R, SAS, C#). He began photographing fishes in 2004, and has amassed a
library of over 500 species to date. He has a growing interest in the use of his photography in scientific communication, specifically in raising awareness of our state’s fishes.

Fritz Rohde

Fritz Rohde

Photographer & Ichthyologist

Fritz is an ichthyologist and biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He has been photographing fishes for years, and has published numerous papers on freshwater and saltwater fishes of the Carolinas and co-authored two books on their freshwater fishes.

Jesse Bissette

Jesse Bissette

Photographer & Biologist

Jesse is a photographer, our resident photography expert, and a colleague at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

Bryn Tracy

Bryn Tracy

Ichthyologist

Bryn retired in Spring 2017 after working for 34 years as a water quality/fishery biologist in the private and public sectors assessing environmental impacts on stream fish communities and environmental impacts of power plant discharges, and in relicensing hydroelectric projects.  Bryn is particularly concerned with invasive, non-native fish species polluting North Carolina‚Äôs lotic and lentic aquatic habitats.

Christina Schobernd

Biologist

Christina is a biologist with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration in Beaufort, North Carolina. Her interests include using GIS software, large relational databases, and visual assessment techniques (video cameras, submersibles, ROVs, etc.) to gather information on reef fish assemblages, hardbottom habitats, fish behavior, and species-specific habitat interactions.


Our Story

Scott Smith and Fritz Rohde
Scott Smith and Fritz Rohde

NCFishes.com began its life in 2013, as Scott and Jesse discussed methods of disseminating photographs of properly identified fishes from North Carolina. At the time, there weren’t any good online sources of information on the identification of the state’s fishes. There are a handful of good books that have been written, such as E. F. Menhinick’s Freshwater Fishes of North Carolina, and F.C. Rohde et al. Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, but no guides with live photographs. Under the guidance of Jesse and his photography skill set, we quickly developed and honed a photography technique that can be used in the field and that captures an incredible amount of detail, while standardizing lighting conditions.

Jesse Bissette
Jesse Bissette

Our goal was to begin a gallery of species photographs that we encountered while collecting, and through working in the field. We soon added blog posts detailing our efforts to collect and photograph these fishes, as well as occasional identification guides. Shortly after starting the site, we met up with Fritz Rohde, and began collecting and photographing with him. Fritz has years of experience collecting and photographing the fishes of the state, and through this partnership we continued building our gallery for many years. It was in 2017 that we began discussing the possibility of creating a new website that would eventually include species descriptions, range maps, as well as the photographs. It was also about this time that Bryn Tracy, Fritz, and Gabriela Hogue from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences began working on an updated atlas of the freshwater fishes of North Carolina. Fritz, Scott, and Christina were concurrently working on a draft checklist of the marine fishes of NC. NCFishes.com is a combination of all this independent work on checklists, photographs, and collection trips, pulled together to help tell the story of the fishes of North Carolina.

Fritz backpack shocking
Fritz backpack shocking

Licensing Information

We release most of our images under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. If you or your organization are interested in purchasing any of our work, please contact us for more information.