Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish, also called shell-crackers, are a member of the sunfish family.  These specialty fish are strikingly beautiful, considered forage and/or sport fish, and play an important ecological role as snail-eaters.  They are listed as a sport fish because they can reach 1#+ sizes and are fun to catch.  They are listed as forage fish because they spawn annually, producing significant numbers of offspring, and they have a relatively small mouth.  Redear sunfish are important for the control of aquatic snails.  Snails are carriers of the very common yellow grub parasite.  By consuming snails, redear sunfish break the life cycle of yellow grub parasites and can prevent this parasite from becoming a problem in your fishery.  

Stocking rate for redear sunfish in new fisheries is 100-200 fish per acre, but a higher stocking density may be needed in existing fisheries.  

Redear Sunfish are available as small 1-3" fish, as well as intermediate sizes up to about 6"