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Sunfish

Family: Centrarchidae

Sunfishes and black basses are popular game and pan fishes. Included in this family are largemouth and smallmouth bass and many brightly-colored sunfishes. These species are deep-bodied and laterally flattened. Their spiny and rayed dorsal fins are broadly joined, and their bodies are covered with rough scales. The family is native to North America only, but the black basses and some of the sunfishes have been introduced into sites around the world. They are primarily found in ponds, lakes and larger streams and are present in all drainages in New York. Despite their use of slow-water habitats, it is not unusual to find individuals in pools in smaller streams as well. Although several species have been introduced to new drainages within the state, only two of the 14 species found in the state are exotic. The ranges of three of the native species are limited to a few ponds or streams, and consequently they are protected. One species is extirpated.

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