Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Bluegill

Lepomis macrochirus

Bluegills can be identified from other sunfish by the dark spot on the base of the dorsal fin (fin on the top of the fish’s back), vertical bars on their sides, and a comparatively small mouth. AKA: perch, sunfish, sunperch

Range & Habitat

Bluegills are found in North America from Canada to the northern part of Mexico. They prefer weed beds off deep areas or near channels around sunken islands having quiet waters in shaded, protected areas.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Bluegill populations are often managed by fishing seasons, limiting size caught, and stocking them in lakes and ponds. Preserving their habitat also helps to sustain their numbers.

Diet

In the Wild -- insects, insect larvae, small crustaceans, worms

Life Span

In the Wild - 7-8 years; In Human Care - 10 years (oldest known)

Fun Facts about the Bluegill

  • Bluegills are excellent breeders. Once their nests are established, the males will strongly defend them against threats.
  • They are one of the most popular sporting fish in the United States, giving the fisherman lots of fight, considering its size.

Sources

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (Ed.). (n.d.). Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). https://tpwd.gov/huntwild/wild/species/bgl/

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Ed.). (n.d.). Fish and Aquatic Conservation. Bluegill. https://fws.gov/fisheries/freshwater-fish-of-america/bluegill.html

Updated July 22, 2021
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