Kevin Ruark, Recreational Angler
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Posted on June 26, 2014 | Permalink
Location: Liberty Reservoir
My buddy and I were fishing out on Liberty Reservoir when he caught and released this nice sunfish. It was clearly a nice sized fish at 9 inches for the species so I immediately thought of the possibility of it being eligible for an angler award as well as for the Maryland Fishing Challenge. After attempting to positively identify it through various internet websites I think this is a Long Eared Sunfish but if I am correct I did not see it on the list for species on the size chart for the Fishing Challenge. Am I correct in my identification and if so what would be the minimum size requirement for this species to receive a catch & release award and be eligible for the Maryland Fishing Challenge? Caught on a jointed floating Rapala.
DNR Response: It appears to be a hybrid bluegill X redbreast sunfish. Both species are found in Liberty Reservoir. If it were a longear sunfish there would have been a white or orange/red margin on the opercular flap (the "ear"). Its a beautiful fish and not a hybrid that we often see. Thanks for sending it in.
The fish meets the minimum size for the Redbreast Sunfish so you'll be awarded a Catch & Release award for the catch!