Monday, February 4, 2013

Help me identify this fish

In earlier posts, I referred to this fish as a bluegill.

I was just looking at it though, and I thought to myself, "that doesn't look like a bluegill."  All those species in the Sunfish family are kind of the same looking.  Sunfish back in Michigan have bright yellow bellies, but maybe this is a species we don't have in Michigan.  I've checked my Field Guide to North American Fishes, but nothing really looks all that similar.  I caught it in the Menomonee River on a bead head scud.  I'm sure it belongs to the genus Lepomis, but I can't figure out the species.


  1. Looks like a green sunfish to me!

  2. I bet you're right. The photos that are in the National Audubon Society book can be a little misleading. They did a great job capturing fish in their natural environment, but for this particular species, their specimen's "iridescence" or whatever you'd call that shimmering quality of the more turquoise spots doesn't come through. Their picture looks rather drab. A google search turns up lots of green sunfisn that share the same qualities. Thank you! I don't think I ever did catch one in Michigan.

  3. I wiil definately contact you if I'm in the area. Do you flyfish for steelhead and whatever else makes a run in your area? Never done it and I want to.

    1. This is actually my first year spending a lot of time fly fishing for salmon in the streams (living within walking distance of the Menomonee sure helps) and I haven't yet caught steelhead. The spring steelhead run is supposed to be amazing most of the time, so i plan on doing a lot of it this spring if I can replace my broken fly rod. I've had days on the Milwaukee where I've caught upwards of 20 smallmouth in a couple hours. Not the biggest fish, but so much fun!

  4. Definitely a Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus). I have nicknamed my girlfriend Kelly "The Green Queen" because she catches them no matter where we go. They are extremely common in the South... and they'll live injust about any body of water. I had an ecology professor in college that used to say, "If cockroaches survive the nuclear apocalypse, they will be eaten by Green Sunfish."