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Southern Company River Scout

Bluegill

Bluegill

(Lepomis macrochirus )

The bluegill is a North American freshwater fish found in lakes, ponds and sluggish streams throughout much of the eastern and central United States and Canada, from Quebec south into northern Mexico. It also occurs in low salinity portions of coastal estuaries. It prefers shallow water close to vegetation, rocks or other sources of cover.

The bluegill is a popular sport fish throughout the U.S. and probably accounts for more individual catches than any other species. It is often the first fish that a young angler catches in his or her first trip to the local pond or stream.

Look for the bluegill in the overhead river in the River Scout gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The bluegill is a member of the sunfish family members of which are commonly called “sunnies”.
  • The bluegill can be distinguished from other sunfish by the dark spot near the base of the pectoral fin.
  • The male bluegill builds a nest into which the female deposits her eggs. He guards the eggs until they hatch.
  • The average life span of this species is 5 to 6 years.
  • The bluegill is the state fish of Illinois.
  • Download full fact sheet

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