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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, is a popular sport fish that is not native to Utah, but is now found throughout the state in warm water habitat. The native range of the species includes much of central and eastern North America.

The bluegill is an opportunistic feeder that eats small fishes, zooplankton, insects, insect larvae, and other invertebrates. The species spawns in the spring and summer, with eggs hatching in about two days. Males build nests prior to spawning, and later guard eggs and newly emerged fry. Bluegill are found in warm shallow areas that offer sufficient cover, usually in the form of submerged vegetation.

Utah offers some excellent bluegill fishing opportunities. Pelican Lake, formerly a popular bluegill fishing location in Uintah County, is once again beginning to produce large bluegill in good numbers.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.