Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Bluegill Bluegill
Lepomis macrochirus


To 12" (30 cm); 4 3/4 lbs (2.2 kg). Deep, compressed, profile rounded under dorsal fin; body and median fins dark olive-green; sides lighter, olive with brassy reflections, often with dusky bars; belly whitish. Mouth terminal, not extending past front edge of eye; opercular flap broad, moderately long, dusky to black. Pectoral fin long, pointed; second dorsal fin with black blotch near middle of posterior rays; anal fin base about half length of dorsal fin base. Lateral line complete, 39-45 scales.


Clear, warm pools of streams, lakes, ponds sloughs, and reservoirs, usually in shallow water with vegetation.


From S. Ontario, S. Quebec, and Great Lakes drainage south to Florida, west to S. Texas. Introduced throughout United States and N. Mexico.


The Bluegill is the most common sunfish and probably the most popular freshwater game fish in the United States. It is also commonly stocked in ponds as forage for larger fishes.