The Pumpkinseed fish prefers clear, 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit water that is 3 to 6 feet deep, and has lots of vegetation for cover. They are typically active during the day and usually rest at night in the vegetation that was just mentioned. The Pumpkinseed will eat almost anything including insects, mollusks, snails, insect larvae, crustaceans, small fish, and leeches. However, this fish has a long list of predators including the yellow perch, walleye, bowfin, largemouth bass, northern pike, American eel, muskellunge, other sunfish, herons, and humans. As a predator, the pumpkinseed helps keep insect population in check while as a prey it is also an important species for birds and larger fish. To anglers, the Pumkinseed is known as a good “panfish” as it will bite at almost anything though its small size causes some to throw it back.
The male and female Pumpkinseeds both become sexually mature at two years old, and they will spawn between late spring and late summer, when the water reaches anywhere from 55 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, the male will build a nest, usually 2 to 3 in deep, and 1 foot in diameter. The female will approach the nest after much chasing on the males part, and the female will release her eggs as the male releases milt. There can be anywhere from 600-3000 eggs and they typically hatch between 3 and 10 days depending on the water temperature. The Larvae will then stay in the nest and feed off the yolk sac until they are fully developed and can feed themselves.
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