Got Nature? Blog

Bluegill, also called bream, brim, sunfish, or panfish, are freshwater finfish in the Centrarchidae family. The native range includes the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins from New York to Minnesota south to the Gulf; and Atlantic and Gulf Slope drainages from Virginia to Florida and Texas to New Mexico. They are found in slow moving streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. They have deep bodies; tall and flat sides; and bluish coloration on the gill covers, or operculum. A dark spot at the base of the dorsal fin, small mouth, and vertical bars on the sides distinguish them from similar species. Often breeding with other sunfish species, resulting offspring can be distinctly shaped and colored.Bluegill Fish Fact Sheet Cover

Where do the bluegill I eat come from?

Bluegill and hybrid bluegill are farmed primarily for recreational stocking or for forage/bait for larger gamefish, and naturally occur in the wild. Due to over-abundance, bluegill are often caught as an angler’s first fish or during kid’s fishing events. They are typically not commercially harvested from the wild for food. The majority of all bluegill raised for food are farmed in ponds, however, there appears to be growing interest in using aquaponics systems. Bluegill, hybrid bluegill, and other sunfish species can be purchased directly from farmers or pond and lake management companies. To find local businesses in the Great Lakes region selling bluegill visit the Great Lakes Fresh.

To receive the free download and recipe visit the Purdue Extension’s resource center: The Education Store – Bluegill Farmed Fish Fact Sheet.

Hybrid Striped Bass Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Freshwater Prawn Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Ask An Expert: What is Aquaculture?, Purdue Extension FNR YouTube Channel
Walleye Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Pacific White Shrimp Farmed Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Yellow Perch Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Tilapia Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
Rainbow Trout Farmed Fish Fact Sheet, The Education Store
American Paddlefish, The Education Store
A Guide to Small-Scale Fish Processing Using Local Kitchen Facilities, The Education Store
Aquaculture Family Coloring Book Development, The Education Store
Channel Catfish, The Education Store
Eat Midwest Fish, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant online resource hub

Amy Shambach, Aquaculture Marketing Outreach Associate
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources/Illinois Indiana Sea Grant Program

Got Nature?