Lepomis punctatus
The Green Sunfish

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The Green Sunfish

Another One Kids Love!


Lepomis punctatus

Lepomis cyannelus

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Oklahoma Record:  2lbs 7oz.

World Record: 2lbs. 2oz. (from the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame's records)


Description: The large bass-like mouth of the stocky little green sunfish is one of the best ways to identify this species, together with a definite greenish body color and an absence of teeth on the tongue. Additional points of identity are: a black spot on the gill cover, faint vertical body bars, irregular emerald-blue cheek lines and yellowish fin margins. (From ODWC Fishes of Oklahoma booklet).

Other Names: goggle-eye and bream.

Subspecies: Unknown

Range: Probably the most common sunfish species in the state, the green sunfish can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and small creeks.

Habitat: Green sunfish are very adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of ecological conditions. They are among the first species that will establish themselves in new ponds or other situations where the original fish species assemblage has been killed or removed. They prefer shallow water areas with some kind of structure such as weed beds, rocks or logs

Spawning Habits: Similar to other members of the sunfish family, this species will spawn throughout the summer, and nests may be in colonies. A male builds the nest by fanning out a small depression in the bottom near the shoreline. Eggs are then deposited by the female and fertilized, then she is driven from the nest. Parental care is given by the male during incubation. A large female can produce up to 10,000 eggs per season. (From ODWC Fishes of Oklahoma booklet)

Feeding Habits: Adult Green sunfish feed mainly on plankton, insects, crayfish, worms and small fish. (From ODWC Fishes of Oklahoma booklet)

Growth: Very little information is available on age and growth. A four year old fish average about six inches long.

Sporting Quality: : Green sunfish are taken on spinning or fly tackle and constitute an important fishery in the clear creeks and streams of eastern Oklahoma. Although prominent in clear waters, this species tolerates murky water. It is one of the few panfish that can be taken on spinners, spoons and surfave plugs due to its large mouth. A scrappy fighter when hooked, the green sunfish may weigh up to two pounds. (From ODWC Fishes of Oklahoma booklet)

Eating Quality: The flesh is excellent. Preparation is the same as other sunfish.

            Information Supplied by:

Danny Bowen


ODWC-Central Region- Fisheries

Thanks Danny!


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