Descriptions: Line 5

Bluegill ( Lepomis macrochirus)

The bluegill is one of the most widespread and popular sportfishes in the United States.
Populations of bluegill occur throughout most of the eastern North America from southern
Canada to northern Mexico. Bluegill have been widely stocked and introduced outside
of their native ranges because of their popularity as sportfish. They are ubiquitous
and survive in various habitats including lakes, ponds, reservoirs, rivers, and streams.
In addition, they often enter estuaries with salinities as high as 10ppt. Maximum
weight is approximately 3-4 pounds. Bluegill are easily identified with the presence
of 8-11 vertical bars, a dark spot at the posterior base of the dorsal fin, a yellow
or orange colored venter, and a blue or green background coloration along the side
of the body.


Largemouth Bass ( Micropterus salmoides)

The largemouth bass is the one of the most popular sportfishes in the world. It occurs
in all major drainage basins in Louisiana, and it is widespread throughout the eastern
United States. The largemouth bass has also been introduced throughout the United
States and the world. It occurs in lakes, rivers, and streams, and is most common
in pooled habitats with vegetation or woody debris. The largemouth bass is a top predator
in most freshwater environments that feeds on other fishes, as well as crayfish. They
have two dorsal fins with a deep notch between the fins. The upper jaw is large and
extends beyond the rear margin of the eye. General body coloration is green-olive-brown
on the upper portion of the body to a lighter coloration below, as well as lateral
stripe breaks into blotches near the caudal fin. It is known to grow to more than
20 pounds.


Rio Grande or Texas Cichlid ( Herichthys cyanoguttatus)

The Rio Grande cichlid is a warm-water species native to Texas and Mexico. It was
introduced into Lake Pontchartrain sometime prior to 1996 when it was first discovered
in the eastern portion of the lake. Since then, it has expanded its range along the
southshore of Lake Pontchartrain and is common in the canals in Metairie and Kenner.
This species is very common in the aquarium trade,likely due to itsintroduction into
the basin. It is an aggressive species particularly when males guard territories,
but the impact of the Rio Grande cichlid on the native fish fauna of the Lake Pontchartrain
Basin has not been studied. The Rio Grande cichlidappears similar to native sunfishes
(bluegill, spotted sunfish), but is easily identified by the presence of 4-6 dark
blotches and white to blue speckling on the side of the body, an interrupted lateral
line, and a one nostril on each side of the snout.


Speckled Darter ( Etheostoma stigmaeum)

The speckled darter is a spectacularly colored species. During the spring months,
males obtain bright coloration, which they flaunt to attract female speckled darters
for reproduction. There are nearly 200 species of darters in North America, and they
reach their greatest diversity in the southeastern United States. They are members
of the perch family and are closely related to yellow perch, sauger, and walleye.
Overall, darters are an interesting group of fishes because most species completely
lack or possess an extremely reduced swimbladder. As a result, they live on the bottom
of streams and “dart” from place to place. Speckled darters occupy freshwater streams
and rivers in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. They are small in size (less than 2. 5
inches in length), typically live 2-3 years, and eat small aquatic insects. Darters,
including speckled darters, are excellent indicators of environmental quality and
are not typically present in degraded habitats.


Redfish ( Sciaenops ocellatus)

Redfish or red drum is a common sportfish in Louisiana. The most obvious characteristics
distinguishing redfish from other species is their reddish-bronze coloration and the
occurrence of a large dark spot near the caudal fin; however, some individuals possess
additional spots. Estuaries and bays represent nursery areas for juvenile and young
redfish (less than 3 years old). When redfish reach 3-4 years of age, they migrate
to near shore shelf areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Redfish are known to surpass40 pounds.
They are closely related to other common drum/croaker species in Louisiana including
black drum, speckled trout, Atlantic croaker, and freshwater drum.


fishesRead descriptions of each fish in the poster.

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