Recreation and Park District
The bluegill is notable for the dark spot that it has on the posterior part of its dorsal fin. The sides of its head and chin are a dark shade of blue. It usually contains five to nine vertical bars on the sides of its body, but these stripes are not always distinct. It has a yellowish breast and abdomen.
The breast of the breeding male is a bright orange. The bluegill has three anal spines, ten to twelve anal fin rays, six to thirteen dorsal fin spines, eleven to twelve dorsal rays, and twelve to thirteen pectoral rays.They are characterized by their deep, flattened, laterally compressed bodies. They have a terminal mouth, ctenoid scales, and a lateral line that is arched upward anteriorly. The bluegill typically ranges in size from four to twelve inches, and reaches a maximum size of just over sixteen inches. The largest recorded bluegill ever caught (in 1950) was four pounds, twelve ounces.