Wild Guide: Longear Sunfish

By MDC | June 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: June 2024

Longear sunfish are blue green on the back and sides, speckled with yellow and emerald. Their bellies are yellow or orange. They favor clear, permanent-flowing streams with sandy or rocky bottoms and aquatic vegetation, avoiding strong currents. Like smallmouth bass, longear sunfish follow turtles and large suckers about as they forage over the bottom, feeding on insect larvae and small crayfish that are exposed.

Did You Know?

Longears commonly gather about the nests of smallmouth bass and other sunfishes — including their own species — rushing in to feed on eggs or fry if the guardian male is momentarily distracted or frightened away. They are most active during the day.

longear sunfish

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale