Largemouth Bass (top)
The largemouth bass is the largest of the sunfish family.
It typically has greenish to brownish sides with a dark lateral
bar that may extend from the eye to the tail. Unlike other
black bass, its jaw extends beyond the rear edge of the eye.
Unlike the sunfishes such as bluegill, redear sunfish, and crappie,
largemouth bass have two dorsal fins that are nearly separated
by a deep dip.
Bluegill are round and laterally compressed, with small mouths
that are angled upward. Coloration can vary greatly with
age, season, and sex, but two characteristics usually persist
that can be used to distiguish this species. These are
black spots that are found at the rear edge of the gill cover,
and at base of the posterior dorsal fin. Green sunfish
also have black spots at the posterior dorsal as well, but can
be distiguished by their large mouth and light margined "ear
flap.". In general bluegill are somewhat lavender and
bronze, with about six dark bars on their sides. Males
can be very dark or colorful during the spawning season.
Redear Sunfish (top)
Also known as a "shellcracker" because of its tendency to eat
snails, the redear sunfish is similar in shape to bluegill but
lacks the distinguishing black dot on the dorsal fin. Redears
have a characteristic red or orange margin around the "ear flap,"
and the mouth and snout protrudes more forward than other sunfish.
The body coloration is light olive-green to gold, with red and
orange flecks in the breast. The breast of a mature redear
is typically yellow, and the pectoral fins are long and pointed.
Black Crappie (top)
The black crappie is a silvery-green to yellowish fish with large
dorsal and anal fins of almost identical shape and size.
The sides are marked with black blotches which become more intense
towards the back. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are
also marked with rows of dark spots. Crappie have compressed
bodies, small heads and arched backs. They have a large
mouth with an upper jaw extending under the eye. Black crappie
can be distinguished from white crappie, a similar species, by
the number of dorsal spines. Black crappie have 7-8 dorsal
spines, while white crappie have 5-6 spines and usually exhibit
vertical bars on the sides of the body.
Warmouth have a stout, deep body similar to that of a bluegill
or redear sunfish, yet have a large, bass-like mouth. They
have a red eye and vary from brassy to dark-olive green and often
have a purple tint overall. Broad, irregular dark bars give
it a mottled appearance. The soft-rayed portions of the
dorsal and anal fins are marked with rows of dark spots.
Three or four conspicuous dark stripes radiate back from the eye
across to the cheek and gill cover.
Redbreast Sunfish (top)
The redbreast sunfish is one of the brightest colored sunfish.
The most distinguishing characteristic of this species is a long,
narrow (no wider than the eye) extension of the gill cover.
These flaps may reach a length of one inch, and are entirely black.
Male redbreast sunfish have a yellow, orange, or bright red breast,
olive upper sides, blending into blue-tinged bronze on the lower
sides and blue streaks on the cheek.
Hybrid Striped Bass
The hybrid striped bass is a cross between striped bass and white
bass. Body coloration is often olive-green to blue-gray
on the back with silvery to brassy sides and white on the belly.
It is easily recognized by the 7-8 prominent black stripes on
the sides that are often broken. Hybrid striped bass can
not reproduce in ponds and therefore must be restocked periodically
Channel Catfish (top)
Channel catfish have a deeply forked tail, a rounded anal fin
with 24-29 fin rays, and juvelines have scattered black spots
along their back and sides. They have a small, narrow head,
and the back is blue-gray with light blue to silvery gray sides
and a white belly. Males may become very dark during the
spawning season and develop a thickened pad on their head.
Brown bullhead (top)
Bullhead species can easily be differentiated from channel catfish
by the absence of a deeply-forked tail. The body is squat
and the tail is round or square. The chin barbels on brown
bullheads are pigmented, not whitish as with yellow bullheads.
The sides of brown bullheads have a distinct, irregular brownish
mottling over a light background. The belly is creamy white. They
have square tails and 20 to 24 anal ray fins.
Yellow bullhead (top)
Similar to the brown bullhead, the yellow bullhead has a squat
body and a round or square tail. It is yellow-olive to slate-black
above and lighter, often yellow to yellow-olive, on its sides
with little to no mottling. The belly may be white, cream or yellow.
The chin barbels are yellow to buff or pale pink; the upper barbels,
which are light to dark-brown, help distinguish this species from
brown bullheads. The anal fin has a straight margin with 23 to
Common Carp (top)
The common carp is a heavy bodied, laterally compressed minnow
with a long dorsal fin and arched back. The first ray of the dorsal
and anal fins is a stout, serrated spine. The small triangular
head is scaleless and tapers to a blunt snout. The small, protrusible
mouth contains no teeth and is located below the snout. There
are two pair of barbels on the upper jaw. The body is scaled and
color is brassy green on top grading to bronze or gold on sides.
The belly is yellowish white. Fins typically are yellow, orange,
golden, or light olive in color.
Grass Carp (top)
Grass carp are slender bodied with a large very broad head and
a wide mouth. Unlike common carp, the dorsal fin is short.
Coloration is dark greenish-brown on the back and the sides are
pale golden. This species is commonly introduced to control
Golden Shiner (top)
Young golden shiners are silvery with a dusky band along the
side. This band fades with age as the fish takes on a golden color.
Adults are usually less than 6 inches, although can grow to about
10 inches. Golden shiners are usually introduced by anglers
when they empty their bait buckets into the pond.
Mosquitofish are are dull grey or brown in color with a rounded
tail. Their mouths point upward for surface feeding.
Mosquitofish can persist in ponds with sufficient shallow vegetated
areas where they can hide from predators.