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#11609 02/03/05 07:37 PM
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I've been reading this forum for a couple of weeks now, and have gathered that everyone hates the Green Sunfish. But, I'm not sure why? Is it because they will eat LMB fingerlings?


3/4 acre pond
#11610 02/03/05 08:04 PM
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They have a hinged jaw and compete with other predators for food. Bluegill have a small mouth that is only big enough for bugs and small invertebrates.

They only spawn once as versus bluegills who spawn multiple times per season.

They spawn before bluegill and bass so they are there picking off the fry.

Now for the rest of the story. I think they are a beautiful fish. Much more colorful and pretty than a bluegill.

#11611 02/03/05 08:07 PM
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From what I have read on this site, Greenies
compete with lmb for forage fish, which would
be a bad thing if you prefer lmb over green sunfish. As a kid, I caught large mouth sunfish
that were called rock bass where I lived. Could
green sunfish be the generic term for such fish ?

#11612 02/03/05 08:24 PM
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pj - Green sunfish(gs)like any other fish have pros and cons. I will list some of each. Others may be able to add ideas.

Negatives:
1. Their mouth is relaively large for their size, thus they can eat large food items for their comparatively small size.

2. Behaviorally they are more aggressive than the other sunfishes. They tend to dominate the territory where ever they are at the exclusion of bgill or other smaller fishes. I conducted behavior studies with gs and bgill as an undergraduate. If you put an equal sized bgill and gs in a fish tank or the gs can even be slightly smaller than the bgill and as I remember, within about 5 to 7 days the gs will torment the bgill until it dies.

3. Green sunfish are quite prolific. At equal or even subequal numbers to bgill, young gs will usually outcompete the bgill for food. If food items are limiting gs will eventually dominate at the expense of bgill.

4. In the presence of low to moderate bass predation gs will become more abundant than the bgill due to the above three features.

5. I have watched gs eat eggs from nests of bgill and other gs. Aggressive nature and tenacity of gs favors their egg robbing ability of other fish nests. Food was probably limiting in these situations. Bgill will also eat eggs from fish nests but I think gs are more prove to do it.

6. I think GS grow slower to harvestable size than bgill but I have no proof of this. I have never seen a growth rate study for gs. As large individuals (7.5" to 8.5" they are a "meaty" fish and flesh probably tastes like bgill. But as I recall it is softer flesh than bgill.

7. GS eat more fish than bgill and with the relatively large mouth gs eat fairly large fish forage fish and or young sport fish. Thus the strong competition with young bass.

Positives:

1. They are prolific and produce lots of forage fish for predtors such as bass.

2. Their body shape is more slender than bgill and easier to swallow for predators. LMB like to eat them probably for the shape reason.

3. They readily bite fish lures.

4. They use them as one parent to create almost all commercially sold hybrid bgill.

5. They are quite "tough" and can tolerate low water quality and low dissolved oxygen compared to bgill and bass.

6. They are used for eye and optic research by some universities.

Other facts. GS are very good jumpers and can jump out of a bucket 1/2 full of water.


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#11613 02/03/05 09:20 PM
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Thanks very much for the info!!!


3/4 acre pond
#11614 02/04/05 08:12 AM
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1 more negative - I have seen reports that Green Sunfish can be agressive enough to nibble on swimmers, behavior which I have never experienced in 40 years off swimming in Bluegill/Largemouth ponds.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#11615 02/04/05 09:02 AM
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Another negative, the biggest in my book...their small size. If they grew to the same size as a BG and with their aggressive tendencies, they would be an acceptable fish to me...but they just don't grow large enough to fool with.

#11616 02/04/05 11:34 AM
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I guess that you have figured out now why everyone here doesn't like GS, we're all Bass fans! The most compatible mix for a bass pond is Bluegill! But, as everyone here will tell you, Its your pond, do what you like with it, experiment, have fun, and let us know what you learned!!!

#11617 02/04/05 11:57 AM
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Green sunfish will grow to bigger sizes. I have caught them to 9" long and they have been reported to grow to 11"-12" but these sizes larger than 9" are not common. I think if their densities are kept in balance the larger sizes will occur more frequently.

They have a tendency to survive fish kills better than other fish. Then with minimal predation their densities quickly become over abundant.


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#11618 02/04/05 01:11 PM
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Rock bass are a very diffrent animal from greens
here is a pair of fish base links one for each.
Notice Rock bass aren't actualy a sunfish (lepomis).
Rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris)
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Ambloplites&speciesname=rupestris

Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Lepomis&speciesname=cyanellus

#11619 02/05/05 05:16 PM
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Great thread! Solid information all the way down. The only thing I can add is this..green sunfish seem to be constant all over the nation. Where they exist, their habits are similar. Spawn once yearly, big mouth, aggressive behavior. The difference can often add up to changes in behavior of other fish, regionally. For example, bluegill spawn three, sometimes four times yearly in the south. In the north, bluegill spawn once a year. In Maine, bluegill aren't even native. These facts influence green sunfish. In Texas, for example, bluegill will outcompete green sunfish in ponds with bass, simply because bass always eat, and bluegill spawn more than greens. That makes it a numbers game. In the north, largemouth bass density is lower, and sizes are smaller. But, many northern lakes have other fish, such as yellow perch, walleye, smallmouth, etc. So, greens have a different impact...they compete as well as provide food for select species of bigger game fish. It's little tidbits like these that make this pond management game so much fun.
So, as we examine each species of fish, be sure to keep in mind the dynamics of the situation. That's REALLY what makes us say whether or not we like a fish. If it fits, we like it. If it doesn't....


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
#11620 02/05/05 07:27 PM
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Well, I guess I'll have green sunfish in my new pond, whether I want to or not. I took my 4 year old daughter "fishing" in the intermittent creek which "flows" next to where I'll dig my pond, and we caught 2 really colorful beautiful green sunfish today. And, after reading many posts, I've decided I wouldn't object to them in my new pond, anyway. We've had wet weather lately, and haven't been able to start digging. Maybe next week.


3/4 acre pond

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