Longear sunfish is found in low gradient streams and lakes with submerged aquatic vegetation and a sandy bottom. It is native to western and central New York or 1/6th of the state. It has declined to levels below detection in the Oswego watershed, and there are major declines in tributaries of Lake Ontario. Stocking has been underway since 2006. The only remaining area with a wild sustained population is a 6 km segment of Tonawanda Creek near Buffalo. Longear sunfish has been classified as Threatened.