Longear sunfish, like other members of the Centrarchidae, are freshwater fishes. In the warmer months of spawning season longear sunfish are generally found in shallower, warmer waters near the sources of streams which have pools with a flowing current. They prefer streams with a hard bottom of clay or gravel with clear waters and they usually stay in or near aquatic plants. Although more abundant near the sources of streams, they can be found in streams and rivers of all sizes and are also found in lakes. Compared to other members of the Centrarchidae, longear sunfish are better at getting food in moving waters than still waters. This may explain why longear sunfish are more abundant in streams than lakes compared to other members of the family. They cannot tolerate cloudy water. Throughout the 20th century their populations have been reduced in areas where their native streams have suffered increased cloudiness.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; freshwater
Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams
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