While setting minnow traps in southern Illinois, I caught one of these fine fish. The Green Sunfish is not only popular with anglers, but it is also kept as a pet by fish hobbyists.
Native to a wide area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, this species prefers areas in sluggish backwaters, lakes, and ponds with gravel, sand, or bedrock bottoms.
They can be found in very muddy waters and are able to tolerate poor water conditions. The waterway where I caught mine was littered with human trash.
Green Sunfish tend to spend their time hiding around rocks, submerged logs, plants and other objects that provide cover. They eat aquatic invertebrates and insects that fall into the water; they’ll also consume smaller fish.
Their average length is 3 to 7 inches. Though small, they are beautiful and certainly a cool creature to come across in my travels.