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Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
#256325 04/25/11 08:29 PM
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Hybrid bluegill (HBG) are widely available at warmwater fish farms & hatcheries. Some fish farms only sell hybrid bluegill and no pure strain bluegill (BG). This is more common at those fish farms in northern states. Read on for more information about HBG.

1. The most commonly available hybrid bluegill (HBG) is the result from cross breeding a bluegill (BG) and a green sunfish (GSF). Most often the male BG and female GSF are used by hatcheries for the genetic cross breeding. Hybrid BG can also occur with either species as male or female. First offspring from this hybridization are referred to as F1 generation or F1s.

2. Hybrid bluegill are fertile, although most individuals are male. Percentage of males ranges from 66%-99% (often 80-95%)depending on the parent species. mBG (male BG) X fGSF (female green sunfish) is a common genetic cross for HBG and results in the higher percentage of males.

3. HBG (F1) produce relatively few offspring due primarily to the predominance of male fish and low numbers of females. Very few offspring provides only a few forage fish for predators, thus predators do not grow very large when feeding primarily on HBG. Hybrid bluegill are not sterile. First generation of hybrid bluegill is mostly male with a low percentage being female. The female's eggs are fertilized by the males to produce some offspring. Each subsequent generation tends to produce more females. After several years usually lots of or numerous mixed genetic sunfish are produced each year. These hybrids can reproduce with the pure strain BG or with any willing fertile sunfish in the pond.

4. First offspring of HBG are referred to as F2 generation. Offspring of F2 generation fish are referred to as F3 generation. The F3 generation produces the F4 generation, etc. If pure strain bluegill or sunfish are available the F generation can breed with them. These offspring could be considered diluted stain bluegill or "some form of hybrid sunfish". Advanced discussion of this topic:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=393700#Post393700

5. HBG (F1) have what is termed �hybrid vigor� and reportedly have improved growth rate compared to either parent. This hybrid vigor produces fish that rapidly grow to harvestable size and are slightly larger than a similar age of bluegill or green sunfish. Many have reported that over time, pure strain bluegill can eventually surpass the size of HBG. This will depend on numerous factors such as food source and number of competing species i.e. competition among same and different species.

6. HBG are thought to be more aggressive than either parent. I am not positive that HBG are more aggressive than green sunfish. Green sunfish are pretty aggressive � always willing to bite a nearby baited hook, often even large baits. By observation HBG are usually definitely more aggressive than pure strain BG. The aggressive behavior and related feeding tendencies of the HBG probably contributes to its rapid growth rate.

7. Aggressiveness of HBG makes them in general more �easy� to catch compared to pure strain bluegill.

8. HBG readily accept and grow well on pellet foods.

9. Succeeding generations of HBG do not breed true and various mixed genetics of the parents will be exhibited. After many years of HBG inbreeding, the offspring can closely resemble either parent � IMO usually more outward traits of green sunfish.

10. Given the correct conditions, HBG will occasionally breed with pure bluegill, green sunfish, other sunfish or F hybrids if any of them are present. Resulting fish will have various combinations of genes and appearance based on the parentage and the genetic �blend�.

11. HBG do not produce a lot of offspring primarily because a large percentage of the fish are male. Presence of only a few females results in fewer eggs laid. There are many predation forces on eggs and fry. This usually results in few surviving offspring especially if bass are present. Additional predation of small fingerling HBG usually results in very few new adult HBG recruited to the normal pond. Thus when a significant number of the original HBG stock are removed or die of old age, new HBG should be added to maintain �good� numbers of adults. When adding new HBG and if LMB or other predators are present, HBG survival rates will be better if larger stockers are added.

12. Authors note. Contrary to what I have earlier mentioned several times on the PB Forum, not all HBG offspring, at least the F2�s or F3�s, grow slow, nor do they stay small, nor should they be considered trash fish. A pond owner in TX has collected, raised and monitored growth of F2 and F3 offspring from HBG (http://www.meadowlarkponds.com/TGG.htm). Growth rates and initial sizes of these F2 and F3 fish after 1-2 years were �good� and sizes are similar to that of the F1�s providing all fish were well fed. Not much is known and documented about later generations and individuals from various spawns F4, F5, F6, etc. Due to back crossing, these fish can have a higher percentage of BG or green sunfish (GSF) genetics and many times after many generations, most of the offspring will look like GSF or have a high percentage of GSF genes. My experience is that the later F generations often appear more like GSF because the GSF tends to be a more aggressive fish and it out competes those with a high degree of BG genetics thus more of the GSF survive to reproduce and survive. Other observations are welcome.

Readers are welcome to add more information or links to this thread.
LINKS to some topics about HBG:

Hybrid Sunfish Explained:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=399554#Post399554

Basic Genetics of HBG Explained
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=474400#Post474400


HBG pic/question
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256047&page=1


HBG-possible female
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256265#Post256265

Here is a link to a thread that has an article and discussion about hybrid redear X green sunfish.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=389103#Post389103

Discussion of bluegill hybrids (intergrades), RES, and growth of bass and forms of bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=432446&page=1

Growth of HBG compared to 'regular' BG.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=470751#Post470751

Good Forum Discussion about behavior and growth of BG - GSF - HBG
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=478569#Post478569

Last edited by Bill Cody; 07/03/20 01:23 PM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #279667 02/03/12 09:45 AM
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Some additional notes about hybrid bluegill from another thread:
CNBG is coppernose BG, a southern strain or variety of pure or regular BG.

Todd Overton from Overton Fisheries: As for HBG vs CNBG. HBG have a big mouth, grow relatively fast, and are mostly males. They grow to 3/4lb very fast, then growth slows significantly. In most cased they need to be restocked every 3-5 years (assuming harvest occurs). CNBG have a small mouth and are pure strain genetics. They (CNBG) will reproduce a lot to feed your other predator fish. They normally don't need to be restocked in ponds. You can grow large 1#+CNBG using a high protein fish food supplement and by having large predators present to control CNBG numbers and promote growth to trophy sizes. We prefer the CNBG.

CJ says: I think for a beginner, raising quality HBG is far easier than CNBG. George has years of experience with ponds and that experience translates into the quality fish he grows. However, for a beginner, the challenge of controlling CNBG reproduction may be over their heads. It is this reason that I would recommend HBG over CNBG to most pond owners in this circumstance. I think George has a bias towards CNBG, but the quality fish he gets from Overton Fisheries, that bias is understandable!

Sparkplug: I believe HBG are as close to foolproof as it gets when it comes to raising fish. As long as the pro's and con's are understood by the pond owner.

George1: I don't know anything about northern BG vs HBG, but I do know it is relatively simple to grow 1 lb CNBG in 12 months in Texas waters. Ewest has reported similar growth rates in southern waters (Mississippi).


Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/03/12 09:47 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #279707 02/03/12 04:31 PM
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I've also done the same thing with regular BG.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Dave Davidson1 #284442 03/16/12 08:19 PM
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See this link for pictures of female hybrid bluegills (HBG) that are swollen with eggs. Note the gill flap shape and color of these females and compare it to that of male HBG. The males will often have an overall darker body hue and darker color on the gular area (breast). Males during spawning season are likely to have flat or slightly concave bellies. General body color in each pond will vary depending on water clarity. Generally clearer water results in darker body colors of both males and females. Cloudier water equals overall more subdued colors.

Thanks to Sparkplug for these good pictures.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=22297&Number=282644#Post282644

Probably the most reliable way to sex HBG is to see and sort them during spawning season when females are full of eggs as Sparkplug is doing in the link above.

Large HBG female by Sprkplug
http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/sprkpl...mdmh9s.jpg.html

Here is a link to a picture of Sprkplug's weighing scales for his HBG.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468339#Post468339

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/17/17 09:52 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #289777 04/30/12 09:35 AM
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Some additional reading about HBG from MS Extension.
http://msucares.com/wildfish/fisheries/farmpond/building/hybrid_sunfish.html

Note they suggest that the HBG should not be stocked with other species of sunfish and or BG. The rationale is interbreeding and production of mixed sunfish genetics often results in substandard offspring the more and longer the interbreeding occurs.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/30/12 09:42 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #289814 04/30/12 12:13 PM
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Pics of HBG from prior thread. Hybrid Bluegill pic/questions

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256047&page=1


Via Bruce.

Here's a couple of pictures from my backyard in the last couple of days.

Me, ( Bruce Condello) with a bluegill X green sunfish hybrid. 12 inches long and unweighed, but possibly between 24 and 32 ounces.



My Dad with a big hybrid bluegill. A little shorter, but much stockier. Clearly over a pound.



--------------------------------------------------
By Bob Lusk and EW.

Likely - Reciprocal cross mBG X fGSF - fish No. 2 and mGSF X fBG - fish No.1.
























Last edited by ewest; 07/28/15 10:28 AM.















Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #301389 07/31/12 07:31 PM
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Experiences of Sparkplug with his HBG. He is growing smaller fish in a cage for a few months so the chances of survival are better when stocked with bass.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=301387#Post301387


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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #309993 10/25/12 04:14 PM
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Sprkplug's HBG




















Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #310787 11/02/12 08:15 AM
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Last edited by Bill Cody; 08/17/15 10:09 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #313520 11/30/12 09:30 PM
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Pictures of HBG female and male with a description from Sprkplug.
ewest graciously added the pictures for us. http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=313519&#Post313519

Sprkplug says:
I would characterize this fish as a GSF dominant, female.



Compared to what I consider a GSF dominant male:




And an earlier photo of a BG dominant male:




Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/03/13 03:30 PM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #332404 04/26/13 08:30 PM
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Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/19/15 10:20 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #347795 08/18/13 08:24 AM
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Interesting update information facts for some northern hybrid bluegill are in this link:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=347793#Post347793

This link looks at some redear sunfish that may be hybrids. Good pictures of fish that look like redears and possibly some RES hybrids:
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=355103#Post355103

Hybrid BG Discussion with emphasis on RES Hybrids
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=447421#Post447421


Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/17/16 07:27 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #358929 12/03/13 03:32 PM
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Hybrid bluegill readily bite small lures in cold water. This very nice specimen was caught in Indiana in early December on a tiny lure right before full ice coverage and thin ice rimming some of the shorline.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=28073&Number=358908#Post358908

Early spring season HBG that were caught by Sprkplug on a special hand tied jig fished under a bobber. Note the size of the 2nd fish that was stocked one year ago. TLC does grow big bluegill.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=372749#Post372749

Growth of HBG from 3"-4" to 8" in one year. It can be done and here is proof.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=376141&#Post376141

Nice artistic pictures of HBG and pure strain BG.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=376538#Post376538

Here are links about hybrid redear X green sunfish.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=21577
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=155862
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=399520
Sex ratio of RES x GSF noted
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=56975

Natural hybridization and Rolling spawn
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=406757#Post406757

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/06/15 08:16 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #446124 05/02/16 07:12 AM
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Here are pictures of Fish Farm produced HBG of Bluegill and Redear cross BGXRES. Note the color pattern difference especially in the ventral fins and fin margins from the BGXGSF cross commonly pictured in above posts.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=446113#Post446113

Quote from ‘japsdad’ - One of the more brilliant ways BG have been used in one of these fisheries is how Theo used them. He carefully stocked only adult males (with mixed RES). Aside from the benefit of having some really good fast growing BG in the early going ... he continues to enjoy their legacy. Thanks to the promiscuity of his RES 'sexy' girls, there have been numerous hybrids whose hybrid vigor and Theo's selection has propelled them to prominence in his fishery.

Here is a discussion of the update from Theo Gallus about the progress of the RES x BG hybrids.

Theo Gallus- Slightly larger than desirable numbers of BGxRES are hatched each year - total hybrid numbers seem to stay about the same given SMB predation, (assumed) YP predation (they are supposed to consume small sunfish in cold water, eh?), and the fact that I remove about 400 BGxRES by angling every year (about 1/2 for eating).

Some of the YP eat pellets. I believe I get successful YP recruitment every year based on small YP being regularly caught. According to my records I have caught some 12" YP each of the last 8 years; the maximum length caught so far is 13" (so perhaps that is about the peak size being produced).

You may remember this was supposed to be a SMB/RES/LMB pond with a few trophy male-only BG. The sunfish had other plans, but having been given lemonade (lots of hybrids), I make a lot of lemonade (sunfish fillets) with it.

teehjaeh57 -- Please relate what you've learned from F2/F3/F4 BRES generations....I've always wondered how offspring fare - outbreeding depression? Hybrid vigor? Do they tend to revert to BG or RES genetics? We know HBG revert to GSF per Eric and Cody, but no one has intel on BRES.

Theo Gallus - Hybrid Fx's are a varied and interesting lot. Every year I catch sunfish in this pond which look just like RES (which they could potentially be) and ones that look just like BG (which there is no way they can be, since 1) they are usually smaller than any male BG I put in the pond and 2) those original BG went in over 10 years ago, at 8"+ in size - they should all be dead). Most are of course somewhere in between, with lots of different mixes of traits. The gene mixes with traits that work seem to do very well (I mostly see the ones that love eating pellets). The mixes that don't work well ... get et by predators or just die. The Fx population numbers have been plenty numerous now for (if the first F1s spawned at 2 years of age) 8 years.

Personally, I don't believe hybrids can revert to either parent species (given the nearly infinitesimal odds of the exact precise chromosome recombination that would be necessary), but they can certainly occur as virtually one of the original specie.

B.Cody - Great update about your BGXRES experiment. Thanks for those details!
There is a local pond near me that the same hybrid development occurred. A few large male BG were added to an existing RES-SMB-YP pond and those horny male BG could not resist those sexy RES females and they reproduced. So far the Fx generations have not over powered the SMB predation ability. I should get over there and catch some of those Fx hybrids to see what the variation of expressed features are showing.

Teehjaeh57 - So...you haven't noticed that BRES F1 etc. skew towards one parental genetics - it's a mixed bag, is that accurate?

B.Cody - Experience from GSFXBG Fx's strongly suggest that a body features expression towards one to the parents would occur. One of the parents should have dominant genetics similar to black hair in humans and strong features of GSF. Why would this tendency not also be present in RESxBG Fx+ hybrids? Theo how many generations of BGRES do you now have?

Theo -I'm guessing 4-5 generations now. Appearance is a mix of types. If there is a dominant form (at least among the pellet eaters I concentrate on 95% of the time), it has a body shape closer to BG, a mouth intermediate in size, a (smaller than BG) black area on the rear dorsal fin like BGs, and visible scales on the gill cover (which I have never seen on either BG or RES).

Last edited by Bill Cody; 04/23/20 09:50 AM.

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Re: Hybrid Bluegill - HBG
Bill Cody #459221 11/17/16 10:55 AM
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Georgia Giant Hybrid Bluegill Discussions - Pond Boss

Hybrid bluegill trade named Georgia Giant have resulted in numerous discussions on this pond management forum. Here are links to most of those topics and posts.

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.ph...ite_id=1#import

Early 2002 questions about Georgia Giant BG with an opinion from Bob Lusk
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=9455

2005 Introduction of GG from developer of GG
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=60748
GG Growth Rate Questions
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=13069&page=all

Indepth 5 page discussion 2008
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=112051

Georgia Giant Help 2009
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=162568

Discussion started by a family member of GG hatchery answering questions
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=354531

Hybrid BG in the South with some discussion of GGiants
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=17115

HBG Growth Vigor discussion with some mention of GG.
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=10878

Hybrid Bluegill Later FX Generations
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=450690

2013 Discussions
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=349024

Hybrid BG discussion Pros - Cons
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=9552

Hybrid BG Crappie and Georgia Giant 2005 discussion
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=59855

Member produced natural hybrids
http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=56975

The link provides good general information of how to use and manage HBG for stocking smaller ponds mainly for producing fast action large panfish.
http://www.jmmaloneandson.com/bream-ponds.html

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/24/17 10:37 AM.

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Bass colors
by woodster, October 7

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