The pumpkinseed is one of the most common and brightly colored members of the Centrarchidae family of sunﬁsh. Although small on average, it is especially popular and good to eat.
IdentificationA brilliantly colored ﬁsh, the adult pumpkinseed is olive green, spotted with blue and orange and streaked with gold along the lower sides; there are dusky chainlike bars on the side of juveniles and adult females. A bright red or orange spot is located on the back edge of the short, black ear ﬂap.
Many bold dark-brown wavy lines or orange spots cover the second dorsal, the caudal, and the anal fins, and there are wavy blue lines on the cheeks. The pumpkinseed has long, pointed pectoral ﬁns that usually extend far past the eyes when bent forward. It has a small mouth, with the upper jaw not extending under the pupils of the eyes.