Koi Rescue
Phoenix Arizona

Pet Bluegill

Little Bunny Fishey, the 3rd
The first fish my daughter ever caught was a bluegill back in Houston, she named it Little Bunny Fishey.

Mr. Banana
Here is one my older daughter caught, it has sort of a yellowing / orange belly, so she calls is Mr. Banana.

She is a "GreenGill", a slang term for a hybrid between a green sunfish and a bluegill. She really is friendly, was eating from my hand after 3 days in the quarantine tank. Kinda wierd behavior, she will slide sideways under a rock and hide all day till feeding time, then presto she zooms out to eat from my fingers.

She is a redear sunfish, aka shell cracker. Fairly timid at this point, not sure if because she is the smallest, or just the way the species behaves.

She is a pumpkinseed sunfish. Very striking color. Didn't realize that these lived in Arizona!

I have kept bluegill before, they are a very docile and friendly fish that won't nip at the goldfish. For use in aquaria, many people report that they are VERY agressive. I haven't seen this, and was told that they setup territories & like to keep in them. In an aquarium, there just isn't enough space - but in a pond, they can each setup their own spot and not bother each other, which is what I am seeing.

Plus they are listed as unlimited size, bag and posession, and listed as a "baitfish" so you can transport them live. A lot of fishermen catch ones of this size, then later put them on trot lines for catching big catfish.

Toxin-sensitive bluegills pull duty in war on terror
Posted 9/7/2006 12:33 AM ET
By John Ritter, USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO One of the latest weapons in the war on terrorism is the common bluegill, a freshwater fish found in lakes and streams across the USA.

Three of the nation's most inviting terrorist targets New York City; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco are using a system that deploys these small edible fish to detect toxic substances in municipal water if sabotaged by terrorists.

Bluegills are sensitive to traces of pesticides, cyanide, mercury, phosphates and other poisons and react in ways that can be monitored. If computers, wired to sensors in the water, record elevated heart rates or note fish swimming erratically in their tank or showing other signs of stress, the system triggers water sampling and e-mail alerts to water-quality officials.

People familiar with the technology, developed by the Army, compare it to the old-fashioned use of canaries in coal mines to warn miners of danger. "It's a winning combination of nature and high technology," says Susan Leal, general manager of San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission, which delivers water to 2.4 million Bay Area customers. "Anti-terrorism is a reality today, and it's going to be a reality for the foreseeable future."

New York City has been testing the system, on loan from the Army, since October 2002. "We are seeking to expand it," says Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the city's Department of Environmental Protection, manager of the water consumed by 9 million people. "Because it's a security issue we would not have sought publicity about this." The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments confirmed that the system is being used in the region but couldn't provide details, says Jim Shell, a water resources planner.

More than a dozen other cities have ordered the Intelligent Aquatic BioMonitoring System, which starts at $45,000, says Bill Lawler, co-founder of the Poway, Calif., company that helped design and now manufactures it. San Francisco has ordered two more for undisclosed locations, Leal says.

The system is one of many means cities use to monitor water quality "part of a layered defense," Lawler says. "The fish start alarming at such minute amounts of toxicity that it gives utility operators a big jump."

Bluegills are ideal "canaries" because they're hardy, prolific and eat almost anything, says John McKosker, a senior scientist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. "What you want is a fish that doesn't die because the handler is clumsy, and most people aren't good at keeping fish," McKosker says. "If you had something like salmon or rainbow trout, it doesn't take much to kill them."

Though sensitive to chemicals, bluegills can tolerate big swings in water temperature and oxygen levels. Most other fish can't. In Army tests of 27 toxic substances, bluegills detected every one, Lawler says.

However, McKosker says, "I wouldn't bet my survival on this yet. There might be some toxicant the fish is insensitive to that we're very sensitive to. But so far that hasn't been demonstrated."

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