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Green sunfish illustration

Green Sunfish

Sunfish Family: Sunfish family members are deep and stockily built, attractive in coloration and popular as panfish. Most sunfish spawn in early summer, when water temperatures warm to the mid-60 and low 70-degree range. Male sunfish build nests by excavating soft substrate with their fins to expose sand, gravel, roots or other firm objects for females to lay their eggs over.

Green Sunfish Identification

  • Dorsal fin has a spiny front portion and a soft-rayed rear portion
  • Small and hardy
  • Resembles a bluegill, but has a much larger mouth and a black tip on the gill cover, edged in a lighter color


Green sunfish are able to tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, they often overpopulate waters.

Most common in southwestern North Dakota, it will hybridize with bluegill where both are present.