Green Sunfish

Unlike other members of this family, the Green Sunfish has a wider body and much larger mouth. Each scale is flecked with yellow or emerald green. Their back and sides are olive-green, and lower belly is yellowish-copper or brassy. Their body is short, stocky, and deeply compressed from side to side and the gill cover has a broad, light margin and it often has a black spot on the rear flap. The gill cover bone is stiff all the way to the margin which is different from most other sunfish.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Lepomis cyanellus
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
4-6 Years
SIZE
5-13 ” | 0.25-2 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Green Sunfish are native to fresh waters of east-central North America. Green Sunfish can be found in ponds and reservoirs throughout Nevada.

Threats

  • Larger Fish
  • Predation

Natural History

With a wide tolerance for many aquatic conditions, the Green Sunfish are successful where they are introduced. They tolerate both turbid and clear water and prefer slow moving streams and ponds, but also do well in lakes with weedy shorelines. Depending on the size of the Green Sunfish, they feed on insect larvae, small snails, crayfish, fish eggs, and smaller fish. Hybridization is very common with the Green Sunfish and the male offspring tend to grow faster than either of the parents.

Fun Facts

Spawning is initiated by the male when he leads a female to his nest using a series of sounds.