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Northern Sunfish

Lepomis peltastes

COSEWIC Status: Special Concern

COSSARO Status: Special Concern

Source: Ontario Freshwater Fishes Life History Database


  • Small typical looking member of the sunfish family
  • Flattened oval olive coloured body with red and blue markings
  • The main difference from other sunfish species is the upward angle of the fish’s red and orange marked ear flap

Habits and Reproduction

  • Live closer to vegetation to avoid strong currents
  • Males make and guard their nests by digging saucer depressions in the sandy substrate


  • Shallow quiet vegetated slow flowing streams, lakes and ponds
  • Bodies of water also have sandy banks or rocky bottoms


  • Decline in the quality of their habitat. These fish are not tolerant of muddy and polluted waters
  • This species is also sensitive to the removal of aquatic vegetation