Common Fish found
in Lake Murray
Lake Murray is home to many different
types of fish. The most popular kinds of fish found in Lake Murray are shown below.
Whether you want to spend
a relaxing evening fishing, or are a professional looking to catch "the big
one", Lake Murray has the fish for you!
Don't forget to visit the DNR's "Where
the Fish Are" page,
Like other members of the sunfish
family, Black Crappie are nest builders. They nest in the spring, generally
when water temperatures reach 60°F. Black Crappie adults main
diet is insects and crustaceans.
||Bluegill (also called
Bluegills begin spawning when water
temperatures reach about 70°F. Nests are created in shallow water,
one to two feet in depth. Gravel substrate is preferred. Fifty or more
nests may be crowded into a small area, thus creating a spawning bed. Males
guard the nest until the eggs hatch and fry leave. Young fish feed on plankton,
but as they grow the diet shifts to aquatic insects and their larvae.
||Redbreast Sunfish (also
called Redbreasted Bream, Shell Cracker, Yellowbelly Sunfish)
In typical sunfish fashion, the
redbreast spawns as the temperature nears 70 in beds or colonies on sand
or gravel where the water is one to three feet deep. Spawning activities
also cycle around the full moon periods. After hatching, the young
may remain schooled for several weeks before scattering. Adults feed on
insects, snails, crayfish, and small fish.
||Redear Sunfish (also
called Redear Bream, Shell Cracker)
The "red ear" distinguishes this
sunfish from the others. Like the Redbreast, their food preference is snails
- which has earned them the nickname "Shell Cracker", although they also
feed on insects, insect larvae and worms. Spawning activities are
similar to the other Bream varieties.
Catfish spawn in late spring
or early summer when water temperatures reach 75°F. Males select nest
sites which are normally dark secluded areas such as cavities in drift
piles, logs, undercut banks, rocks, cans, etc. Catfish less
than 4 inches in length feed primarily on small insects. Adults are largely
omnivorous, feeding on insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, and even some
||Large Mouth Bass
Spawning begins in the spring when
water temperatures reach about 60°F. Largemouth bass prefer to
nest in quiet, more vegetated water, but will use any substrate besides
soft mud, including submerged logs. Nests are usually built in two to eight
feet of water. Fry feed primarily on insect larvae. At about two inches
in length they become active predators. Adults feed almost exclusively
on other fish and large invertebrates such as crayfish.
||Striped Bass (also called
South Carolina's "State Game Fish",
the striped bass is the largest member of the sea bass family. Lake Murray's
population completes their entire life cycle in freshwater. Stripers may
reach a size of 10 to 12 inches during the first year. Males are generally
mature in two years, and females in three to four. Adults are primarily
piscivorous, feeding predominantly on members of the herring family such
as gizzard shad and threadfin shad. Average adult size is 20-36 inches
and 3-10 lbs.
Like the Striped Bass, White Perch
are native to the Atlantic Ocean, but have adapted well to freshwater (the
building of dams kept early generations from returning to the ocean after
spawning). They release their adhesive eggs randomly into shallow water.
Adults feed near the bottom upon aquatic insects, invertebrates, a wide
variety of fishes, and on the eggs of other fish species. Average
adult size is 7-12 inches and up to 1 lb.
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