Tyler Urban shows off a 7.5-inch Warmouth from CJ Strike Reservoir - a rare sunfish species found in only a few places in Idaho.
Congratulations to Tyler Urban of Eureaka, California on landing a new catch/release state record Warmouth. The sunfish measured 7.5 inches long, and is the first record submitted for this species. Having grown up in Idaho, Tyler was fishing CJ Strike Reservoir on May 26th while visiting his dad – a fellow panfish enthusiast - looking for a chance at a new record species. Warmouth are a species of sunfish similar to Bluegill and Pumpkinseed, which are much more common in Idaho. Warmouth are not native to Idaho, and the date when they were first introduced is unknown. They are typically found in their native range in the Mississippi River drainage from Iowa south, in the Rio Grande River drainage, Florida, and along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
Warmouth look very similar to Green Sunfish, but have brown coloration, teeth on their tongue, and have a much bigger mouth. Most eat aquatic insects, while the bigger ones tend to favor crayfish and fish. Despite often living 6-8 years, these stout little sunfish often grow slowly, so a fish of this size if often a trophy, especially in Idaho’s colder climate. They prefer to hang out warm water with abundant cover like vegetation and flooded brush, and seem to do well in muddy waters.