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Colorado Fish Species

Arctic Char
Arctic Grayling
Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Blue Catfish
Bluehead sucker
Bonytail Chub
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Colorado Pikeminnow
Colorado River Cutthroat
Common Carp
Creek Chub
Cutbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Emerald Shiner
Flannelmouth Sucker
Flathead Catfish
Flathead Chub
Freshwater Drum
Gizzard Shad
Golden Shiner
Golden Trout
Grass Carp
Green Sunfish
Greenback Cutthroat
Hybrid Striped Bass(wiper/palmetto)
Lake Chub
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Longnose Sucker
Mountain Whitefish
Northern Pike
Orangespotted Sunfish
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
River Carpsucker
Roundtail Chub
Sacramento Perch
Smallmouth Bass
Snake River Cutthroat
Spottail Shiner
Spotted Bass
Striped Bass
Sunfish (Bream)
Tiger Muskie
Tiger Trout
White Bass
White Crappie
White Sucker
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch
Yellowstone Cutthroat

Native to eastern North America, Pumpkinseeds original range is from southern Canada to Georgia and North Carolina. This sunfish is rarely found in running water, preferring still heavily vegetated ponds.  It frequently coexists with the bluegills, its competitor.  These species occasionally hybridize.   When bluegills are present, Pumpkinseeds occupy the shoreline zone, leaving the open water habitat to the gills.  These smallish fish are typically six to eight inches in length, with fish to twelve inches possible.

These colorful sunfish are deep-bodied with a small mouth. Their underside is typically orange to yellow.   Sides are speckled with orange, yellow, blue, and emerald spots. The cheeks have wavy blue lines. Ear flaps are short, black, and have a red-orange rear edge.

Males, as is typical of sunfish, build nests in colonies in gravelly areas. Nest building starts hen water temperatures approach 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  Extremely territorial males chase everything away, including early-arriving females. Females deposit approximately 1,500 eggs which settle through a cloud of milt and stick to the bottom. Males then guard their nest as the eggs hatch in a few days. Once hatched males herd the fry into ball-like clouds for a couple weeks.  Sexual maturity generally occurs by the second year. In the wild, pumpkinseeds can live upwards of eight years.

Pumpkinseeds have diverse diet, insects, insect larvae, mollusks, snails, other crustaceans, and small fish are all on the menu. Feeding is primarily during the day and they are especially active in the afternoon.  All levels of the water column are utilized.

Pumpkinseed in Colorado

Found in impoundments of eastern Colorado, the pumpkinseed spawns in the same manner as the bluegill and at the same time. Growing to a length of 6 inches, the pumpkinseed is not apt to be found in open water like the bluegill but prefers weed patches, docks and sunken vegetation. Staying close to shore, this snappy fish is easily taken by a variety of baits ranging from a juicy grub or worm to small lures or wet flies.

Courtesy of Natural Diversity Information Source, Colorado Division of Wildlife
Most Recent Pumpkinseed Forum Posts
Sunfish ID 08.29.16 by bron
Pumpkinseed? 10.08.14 by Catfish Johnson
fossile creek fish 07.08.12 by fish123ex
Pumpkinseed Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts
Blog: Ignoring Instincts Paid Off 08.05.15 by David Coulson
Blog: Kids fishing 06.25.15 by Rob Stout
Blog: Boomerang Tool Co. Grip 11.07.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: 4 Apps Every Angler With A Smartphone Should Use 02.09.12 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Clouser Pattern Detailed - New Article 12.16.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: Become a pro 09.30.11 by Joshua Christensen
Blog: Launches California 09.27.11 by Matt Snider
Blog: California now on 09.23.11 by Matt Snider
Recent Colorado Pumpkinseed Photos by Fish Explorer Members
by Mr. Fly Fisherman - by pinkfloyd1 - Great colors. by pinkfloyd1 - by FishSeal - Just a test.
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