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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Identification and Life History of Longear Sunfish in New York State.

There are six different species of sunfish (genus Lepomis) living in the waters of New York State. Pumpkinseed, bluegill, and green sunfish are three of the more common sunfishes caught annually by anglers. However, there are several other smaller and lesser-known sunfishes that contribute to the fish fauna. Lepomis megalotis is perhaps one of the rarest fishes in the state. Records indicate less than 100 specimens were observed since 1916 and only 20 have been captured since 1988. Currently only 79 specimens have been achieved in various NYS museums. Proper identification of rare and/or small fishes is a common challenge for anglers and fisheries researchers. Distinguishing characteristics such as morphology, habitat range and preferences are all key elements that are used to locate and identify target fishes in a study. As a species of greater conservation need, it is especially important to learn about the life history of the longear sunfish. Data collected from the literature and during the field seasons will help our project in determining a population status for L. megalotis in two western New York streams. Project conclusions will assist in the management recovery plans for the species.

Presenter: Scott Wells (Graduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 140 Lennon
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)