Ed Golson Outdoor Education

Blue Gill

Scientific Name: Lepomis macrochirus

Description: Bluegills are similar in shape to their cousins the sunfish in that they have a flat and tall body. They are mainly olive in color with a yellow or white belly. Their name comes from the fact that they have a shiny blue spot on their cheek and gill cover. Bluegills are fairly small fish. They have an average length of 4 to 6 inches but can grow as large as 16 inches. They usually live about 4 or 5 years, but they can live up to 11 years in captivity .

Habitat: This species of fish is native in the Great Lakes and Mississippi river areas, but has been introduced throughout much of the world. They like to live in lakes and slow-moving streams around thick weed beds. 

Food: Bluegills use their small mouths to eat small invertebrates such as snails, worms, aquatic insects, and minnows.

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