Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

bluegill_300The Bluegill is a panfish often found in shallow water, though it is known to head into deeper waters as the temperature rises in the summer.  This fish prefers warm waters, between 64 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and likes to have cover such as submerged logs, drop offs, and/or weed beds.  It is well-liked fish for anglers and can be fished for all year round due to the fact that it remains active during the winter months. 

The Bluegill stays in the shallows to spawn, usually between late spring to early summer when the water reaches a temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  At this time, the male constructs the nest and guards the newly hatched fry and eggs until they reach the swimming stage.  At this early point in the bluegills life, the fish eats zooplankton and algae, though as the bluegill gets older, it will start to eat plant matter, small fish, and aquatic insects as well.  Sexual maturity for female occurs at 3 to 4 years old, while it occurs at 2 to 3 for males.  On average, the Bluegill lives to 5 to 6 years old, and during this time the bluegill usually grows to a length of 6 to 8 inches.  However, it is not too uncommon for some to reach 10 inches.

Further Reading

Click Here for information from the Michigan DNR