Redear (Lepomis microlophus) a member of the sunfish family are also known as shellcracker, stumpknocker, and chinquapin in parts of Louisiana. They are can be identified by the red spot on the gill flap, with a blue-green side. Redear reach sizes of up to 5 pounds with the average being less than a pound. Redear occur from Illinois to Florida to Texas. They have also been introduced many western states.
The male redears build a nest, usually grouped together with other nest to form spawning beds near submerged vegetation. The eggs hatch after 6 to 10 days, and the fry remain in the nest guarded by the male. Redear growth is more rapid than bluegill. Most redear mature in the second year of life. When very young they feed exclusively on zooplankton.
Redear are schooling fish that has a preference for large quite waters. Redear eat snails, crustaceans, and small fish, but don't eat small fish as readily as most sunfish.
Key Notes and Tips:
*Males usually emit a "popping" sound when courting females.
*Females have an average of about 20,000 eggs
*The redear does not reproduce as quickly bluegills and, therefore, is not likely to overpopulate small ponds. Overpopulation causes the fish to grow very slowly.
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