Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

Description: Non-native. Introduced in 1932. The bluegill has blue coloring on the chin, a solid black opercle flap, a small mouth and a dark spot at the rear of the dorsal fin. The body is very compressed or flat and has from five to nine dark vertical bars on the sides. Length: 4 to 13 inches. Weight: 3 ounces to over 3 pounds. Location and Habitat: Bluegill are found in most reservoirs or ponds below 4,000 feet elevation and rarely occur in streams and rivers. They are prone to stunting and large populations of tiny bluegill are common. Food: Insects are the favored food but bluegill will take worms, snails and small fish. Angling: Bluegill will eat anything they can get into their mouth. Worms are an anglers favorite bait, but bluegill will take, small poppers, flies, small spinners and jigs. Bluegill are gregarious, so when you catch one, there are usually more in the same place. Table Quality: The meat is white, flaky, firm and sweet. Many consider the bluegill to be one of the finest tasting freshwater fish available.