Habitat of the Pumpkinseed Sunfish

The pumpkinseed sunfish was originally from the northeastern part of the United States and the southeastern part of Canada. Today they can be found throughout the United States but are their general area of prevalence ranges from Manitoba, Canada to Georgia, U.S., and from the Atlantic sea board to the Ohio River Valley.

Pumpkinseed sunfish are specifically abundant in ponds, rivers and lakes. In larger lakes, individuals tend to stay in areas where there are large amounts of underwater vegetation, rather than staying in open areas. In Wisconsin specifically, pumpkinseed sunfish can be found in the backwaters of the Mississippi, and in bay areas of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

Pumpkinseeds generally share their habitat with other sunfish such as bluegills, their close relative. But snails, small mollusks, aquatic insects, as well as other types of fish share the habitat as well. In their shallow water habitat, there are many different types of underwater vegetation that the Pumpkinseeds both feed on and use as shelter. 

As for specific water qualities, pumpkinseed sunfish prefer, or are more tolerant to areas with lower concentrations of oxygen. Another quality of pumpkinseed habitat is the temperature. This species is less tolerant to warm water, and is generally found in areas between 75 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. This would explain why they are only found so far south in North America.

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