Small size, silvery color with blackish spots in rows along upper sides. Single dorsal fin, adipose fin present. Body rough to touch. Deeply forked tail fin. Mouth is horizontal and small (the upper jaw does not extend as far back as the front of the eye). Only Missouri fish with both adipose fin and rough-edged scales, characteristics of trout and perch, respectively—thus the common name trout-perch. Most closely related to cavefishes and pirate perch.