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Identification: A moderately large, deep bodied sunfish with a small mouth. The upper jaw does not extend past the front of the eye. Distinguishing features include a large back spot at the rear of the soft dorsal fin, long and pointed pectoral fins, and several evenly spaced dark vertical bars on the sides. Adults can grow to 16 in. (4.5 lbs.), but usually reach 6-11 in.
Distribution and Habitat: Common and abundant throughout the state. Bluegill can inhabit nearly every type of water body, avoiding only extremely polluted habitats and high-gradient headwater creeks with little pool development. Preferred habitat includes clear, quiet waters near the shorelines of ponds, reservoirs, oxbow lakes, and pools of rivers and streams.