DES MOINES — The idea of naming the tiny Iowa Darter as the official state fish has sailed through a House subcommittee.

Representative Elinor Levin of Iowa City said it’s a great way to raise awareness about the only fish that has “Iowa” in its name.  “It’s a pretty fish,” Levin said during a brief subcommittee meeting on the idea. “I think it’s going to be a nice symbol for our state.”

Representative Shannon Latham of Sheffield agreed. “I was surprised to find out we didn’t already have a state fish,” Latham said.

Every state that surrounds Iowa has a state fish. The walleye is the state fish of both Minnesota and South Dakota. Wisconsin’s state fish is the musky. The bluegill was named the state fish of Illinois in 1986. And, in 1997, the channel catfish became the state fish of both Nebraska and Missouri.