Have you ever wondered what baby fish are called? It turns out that this is a surprisingly complicated question with a wide variety of possible answers.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the different terms used to describe young fish, from newly-hatched larvae to young adults ready to begin their own spawning season.


The most common term used to describe juvenile fish of any species is “fry”. This term applies to any fish under one year old, including both newly hatched larvae and juvenile fish that have begun to develop adult features such as scales and fins.

Fry are usually small in size and non-threatening, making them easy prey for larger predators like birds or other fishes.


Another common term used to describe young fish is “elvers.”

This word refers specifically to juvenile eels, which are born as larvae and spend several months living in the ocean before returning to freshwater rivers and streams as elvers. These elvers will eventually mature into adult eels, but until that time they are referred to as elvers.


The term “alevins” applies specifically to newly-hatched salmon fry. Alevins are still dependent on their yolk sac for sustenance when they first hatch, so they remain safe in their gravel nest until the yolk sac has been consumed and they can swim freely without fear of predation.

After the yolk sac has been consumed by the alevin, it becomes known as a “fry” and can be found swimming freely in rivers or streams alongside its peers.


Finally, some types of fish may also be referred to as “pups” when they reach adulthood but before they reach sexual maturity.

This term applies primarily to members of the shark family; these pups will remain with their mother for an extended period of time before striking out on their own and beginning the process of becoming adults themselves.


As you can see, there are many different terms used to refer to young or immature fish depending on their age and species.

From fry and elvers all the way up through pups, each stage of a fish’s life cycle has its own unique name that provides us with insight into how it lives its life in the wild!

No matter what type of fish you’re looking at, understanding these terms can help you better appreciate our aquatic friends—and even better protect them!