This is a management plan for the Tennessee native species Lepomis humilis, the orangespotted sunfish. The orangespotted sunfish is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (family Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. These fish are widely distributed across the middle and eastern United States, from the Rockies to the east, from the great lakes south into the gulf coast. The orangespotted sunfish is a species that is ecologically unique and thrives in turbid, shallow systems that have few predators and low oxygen contents. The species prefers vegetated areas in sluggish backwaters or lakes, and can also be found in turbid rivers. The orangespotted sunfish can extend its range in lower quality waters, which is not characteristic to other sunfish. L. humilis specimens vary in total length and age for different river basin originations, but can be found to live 4–7 years, and recorded lengths are generally 15 cm or less.
Male orangespotted sunfish make grunting noises to attract females to mate and are known to nest in ‘colonies’ or aggregations. Spawning patterns are similar to those of other sunfish. Due to the wide span of this fish, the species is not endangered and management plans are almost nonexistent presently. The orangespotted sunfish has been introduced to many habitats, such as rivers in Florida, Alabama, Texas, Colorado, Michigan, and Canada. This species of sunfish should ideally be monitored more closely to determine the specific habitat range and to be able to accurately ascertain the effects of the ecosystem on the fish, such as human-induced negative influences.
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