Fish Identification Guide Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Redear Sunfish
Lepomis microlophus
Also known as: redear, shellcracker
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: A flat, slab-sided fish with a rather small mouth. Pectoral fin is pointed and relatively long; gill cover tab black with red margin. They are not a native fish and do best in ponds and small reservoirs having warm, clear water with an abundance of aquatic vegetation that harbors numerous small crustaceans and molluscs. Snails are the primary food source for redear, hence the common name (shellcracker). Redear can be used to control snails, which are required hosts in the life cycles of yellow and black grubs - both of which are common fish parasites. They also spawn in small colonies, similar to bluegill.
Family: Sunfish
Type: Sport Fish
Range: A few select waters throughout the state.


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