Sauger fish are freshwater members of the percidae family, along with perch and walleye. Cylindrical in body form, the sauger has a large horizontal mouth and well-developed pointed teeth. The back and top of the head are mottled brown to golden olive, the lips are less mottled and appear distinctly speckled, and the lower sides and venter are white or light cream. There are two dorsal fins, the first is spiny and the posterior dorsal is a soft-rayed fin. The caudal fin is spotted, often in rows. Sauger distribution within its home range varies by time of year because they are a migratory fish species, spawning up to fifty thousand eggs in spring and capable of periodic interspecies reproduction with walleye. Their diet consists of small fish.
The sauger is found in large murky rivers or large shallow lakes, quiet backwaters over sand, mud, or bedrock substrates, usually at tributary mouths and in deeper tailwaters over rock and rubble substrate downstream of dams. They tend to avoid strong current runs and riffles.
The sauger is widely distributed throughout Canada, the Mississippi River basin and introduced in Atlantic slope tributaries, throughout the Ohio River, and the Tennessee River drainage as far south as Alabama.