Common name: Rock Bass, goggle eye, red eye, rock sunfish
ID: Eyes bright red or orange. Dark dorsal regions with lighter ventral regions. 8-10 horizontal rows of spots below lateral line. Breeding males blackish with brighter eyes. Six spines in anal fin. Image 2 shows some ID characteristics.
Life cycle: Spawn in late spring; dig nests in shallows. Grow quickly and live, at most, up to 12 years. Average length 6 to 8 inches and 4 to 8 ounces.
Feed on: Aquatic insects, crayfish, small fish (including other rock bass, yellow perch and minnows).
Predators: Large bass, northern pike, muskie, walleyes prey on young rock bass.
Where to find them: Shallow waters in medium to large streams in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior drainage basins. Rocky areas that are shallow. Live in groups, often near smallmouth bass or other similar fish.