(Lepomis macrochirus)

A picture of a bluegill
A bluegill

The bluegill sunfish is a member of a large group of panfish that are found primarily in freshwater eco-systems.  The bluegill is one of the members of this group that can live in the saltier waters of the tidal Patuxent and is fairly common at King’s Landing.  Several bluegills are captured each season during our seining surveys.  Dependent upon their size, bluegill may feed on any small animals ranging in size from small insects to small fish.  During the spring and early summer nesting season, the male bluegill will defend a nesting territory which is a shallow depression that it creates on the bottom of the river or creek.  The male guards the nest against other fish that may try to investigate the area for an easy meal.

A graph of bluegill sunfish found from 1997-2006
A graph of bluegill sunfish found from 1997-2006