I'm a fish (Gonna spawn till I die): an original song by the Fish and Wildlife Band
Original U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service music raises awareness of migratory fish, healthy fish habitat and aquatic connectivity

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Watch the official music video for I’m a fish (Gonna spawn till I die), a rocking blues song by Joe McCauley and the Fish and Wildlife Band. This song is all about raising awareness of fish migration, the importance of healthy fish habitat, and increasing aquatic connectivity.

This song was taken from Songs of the System, a collection of fish and wildlife songs created and donated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employees and originally released in 2003 in celebration of the National Wildlife Refuge System centennial. The effort was led by Greg Thompson and produced by Danny McKeown, Paul Piccari, and Sandy Perchetti at Studio 2000 at the Omniplex in Camden, NJ thanks to the Friends of E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

For more FWS Music, visit: https://www.fws.gov/story/songs-species

Joe McCauley - lyrics & vocals

Greg Thompson - Electric guitar

Bill Zinni - Bass guitar

Bill Jaaskelainen - Acoustic guitar

Kurt Snider - Drums

Al Averill - Harmonica

Video footage by USFWS
Video editing by Mason Wheatley

When I was a young fish  

Just a little Fry

I knew by the way I was growing

I’d be the greatest fish alive

Now I’m grown

And swimming upstream

All these dams in my way  

Are making me kinda mad

Cause, I’m a Fish!

Gonna spawn till I die

I’m a Fish!

I need free flowing water to survive

Now it wasn’t that long ago

A fish like me did abound

But now I look around me

There ain’t many of us left around

Without no decent habitat

It’s mighty tough to stay alive

I’m afraid we’ll need your peoples help

If we’re going to survive  

Cause, I’m a Fish!

Gonna spawn till I die

I’m a Fish!

I need healthy rivers to survive


Well I’ve gone upstream  

About as far as I can go

Been up ladders and elevators

The goin’s been mighty slow

But, now I’m up here

I’m gonna find me a mate

I’m just a lonely fish

Lookin for a date  

Cause, I’m a Fish!

Gonna spawn till I die

I’m a Fish!

I need clean water to survive


I know all you fisher-people  

Would like to see me on a plate

Well the way I see it brother

There is much worser a fate!

I’d rather end up on your table

Loved by one and all

Than to be shredded by a turbine

Where there used to be a waterfall  

Cause, I’m a Fish!

Gonna spawn till I die

I’m a Fish!

I need all your people's help if I’m going to survive 

Story Tags

Anadromous fish
Aquatic connectivity
Aquatic environment
At-risk species
Biologists (USFWS)
Connecting people with nature
Endangered and/or Threatened species
Environmental education
Fish hatcheries
Fish migration
Fish passage
Habitat conservation
Habitat restoration
Human impacts
Water quality
Work of the Service

Recreational Activities