The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Lepomis gibbosus
Lepomis gibbosus
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common name: Pumpkinseed

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Moyle (1976); Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 30 cm.

Native Range: Atlantic Slope drainages from New Brunswick to Edisto River, South Carolina; Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and upper Mississippi basins from Quebec and New York west to southeastern Manitoba and North Dakota, and south to northern Kentucky and Missouri (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Lepomis gibbosus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL197219721Guntersville Lake
AZ195019813Lower Colorado Region; San Simon; Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir
AR196619661Bayou Bartholomew
CA1942202417Honey-Eagle Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Los Angeles; Lost; Lower Colorado; Lower Klamath; Newport Bay; Russian; Sacramento-Stone Corral; San Jacinto; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Shasta; Suisun Bay; Upper Cache; Upper Klamath; Upper Yuba
CO194820098Big Thompson; Cache La Poudre; Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek; Republican; San Luis; South Platte; St. Vrain; Upper Arkansas
ID1943200321Brownlee Reservoir; C.J. Strike Reservoir; Clearwater; Coeur d'Alene Lake; Kootenai; Lower Boise; Lower Kootenai; Lower Snake-Asotin; Middle Snake-Boise; Middle Snake-Succor; Pacific Northwest Region; Palouse; Payette; Pend Oreille Lake; Priest; Spokane; St. Joe; Upper Coeur d'Alene; Upper Snake-Rock; Upper Spokane; Weiser
IL189220083Big Muddy; Little Wabash; Lower Kaskaskia
IN194520045Eel; Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion; Muscatatuck; Patoka-White; Sugar
IA198020104Blackbird-Soldier; Flint-Henderson; Little Sioux; Tarkio-Wolf
KS196519691Lower Kansas, Kansas
KY196120085Licking; Licking; Little Sandy; Middle Ohio-Laughery; Upper Cumberland
MS190619061Mississippi Coastal
MO194020148Little River Ditches; Lower Gasconade; Lower Grand; Lower Missouri-Moreau; Lower Osage; Meramec; Peruque-Piasa; Pomme De Terre
MT1910201137Beaver; Big Horn Lake; Blackfoot; Bullwhacker-Dog; Fisher; Flathead Lake; Flatwillow; Flint-Rock; Little Powder; Lower Clark Fork; Lower Milk; Lower Powder; Lower Tongue; Lower Yellowstone; Lower Yellowstone; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Marias; Middle Clark Fork; Middle Kootenai; Middle Milk; Milk; O'Fallon; South Fork Flathead; Stillwater; Sun; Swan; Upper Little Missouri; Upper Milk; Upper Missouri; Upper Missouri; Upper Missouri-Dearborn; Upper Tongue; Upper Yellowstone; Upper Yellowstone-Lake Basin; Upper Yellowstone-Pompeys Pillar; Whitewater; Willow
NE196320148Little Nemaha; Loup; Middle Niobrara; Salt; Snake; South Loup; Tarkio-Wolf; Upper Elkhorn
NV198419872Middle Carson; Thousand-Virgin
NC195720135Albemarle; Nolichucky; Upper French Broad; Upper New; Upper Tennessee
ND200120011Middle Sheyenne
OH1920201313Hocking; Licking; Little Miami; Little Muskingum-Middle Island; Little Scioto-Tygarts; Lower Scioto; Muskingum; Ohio Brush-Whiteoak; Paint; Raccoon-Symmes; Upper Ohio-Shade; Upper Ohio-Wheeling; Wills
OR1893202431Brownlee Reservoir; Donner und Blitzen; Goose Lake; Klamath; Lost; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Deschutes; Lower Grande Ronde; Lower Malheur; Lower Willamette; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Middle Rogue; Middle Snake-Payette; Middle Willamette; Molalla-Pudding; Nehalem; Pacific Northwest; Silver; Silvies; Siuslaw; South Umpqua; Umatilla; Umpqua; Upper Klamath; Upper Rogue; Upper Willamette; Williamson; Willow; Wilson-Trusk-Nestuccu; Yamhill
SC198519851Lower Savannah
SD1931200319Bad; Big Sioux; Grand; Grand-Moreau; James; Keya Paha; Little White; Lower Big Sioux; Lower Cheyenne; Lower James; Lower Moreau; Middle Big Sioux; Middle James; Middle Niobrara; Middle White; Redwater; Snake; Upper Moreau; White
TN195619933Kentucky Lake; South Fork Holston; Watauga, North Carolina, Tennessee
VA191719946Kanawha; Middle New; North Fork Holston; Powell; South Fork Holston; Upper New
WA1893202243Banks Lake; Colville; Deschutes; Duwamish; Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake; Lake Chelan; Lake Washington; Lewis; Little Spokane; Lower Chehalis; Lower Columbia; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Columbia-Sandy; Lower Cowlitz; Lower Crab; Lower Skagit; Lower Snake-Tucannon; Lower Spokane; Lower Yakima; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Nisqually; Nooksack; Okanogan; Pacific Northwest Region; Palouse; Pend Oreille; Puget Sound; Puyallup; San Juan Islands; Similkameen; Skykomish; Snohomish; Snoqualmie; Strait of Georgia; Upper Chehalis; Upper Columbia-Entiat; Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids; Upper Crab; Upper Spokane; Upper Yakima; Wenatchee; Willapa Bay
WV1970199710Elk; Gauley; Greenbrier; Little Kanawha; Little Muskingum-Middle Island; Lower Kanawha; Lower New; Middle New; Upper Kanawha; Upper Ohio-Wheeling
WY197019944Big Horn Lake; Crow; Glendo Reservoir; Lower Laramie

Table last updated 7/13/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentional stocking for sportfishing. Trautman (1981) reported this species was originally absent from the southern unglaciated part of Ohio. However, he implies construction of canals gave them access to those areas and, furthermore, millions of Pumpkinseeds were stocked in southern Ohio between 1920 and 1950.

Status: Established in most locations where introduced. Extirpated in Arizona (Minckley 1973). Reported in Kansas, but failed to become established (Cross 1967).

Impact of Introduction: Pumpkinseeds will hybridize with most other Lepomis, especially with bluegill and green sunfish. The result is usually fast-growing, sterile male hybrids (Moyle 1976).

Casal (2006) listed the Pumpkinseed among the top ten introduced fish species with adverse ecological effects. It has been reported to be responsible for the decline of other fish species (Welcomme 1988) as well as gastropods (Osenberg et al. 1992).  Van Kleef et al. (2008) found that macroinvertebrate abundance was 83% lower in areas invaded by Pumpkinseeds in the Netherlands. Kynard (1979) found that decline in abundance of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) was related to an increased abundance of Pumpkinseeds in Wapato Lake, WA.

Remarks: Sigler and Miller (1963), Sigler and Sigler (1987, 1996) make no mention of Pumpkinseeds in Utah. Although Burr (1980) lists this species as probably introduced to the Ohio River in Kentucky, resulting from escapees from commercial fishing lakes and farm ponds, Burr and Warren (1986) believed they were more likely strays from the upper Ohio River. Menhinick (1991) reports Pumpkinseeds as native and introduced in all remaining drainages (other than New and Tennessee) in the state. It is unclear if these introductions are within their native range in those drainages or outside their native range. Cross et al. (1986) also listed the Pumpkinseed as introduced into the Kansas River drainage but did not indicate which state. No records were found for this drainage in Kansas (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Cross and Collins 1995) or Nebraska (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.). However, Cross (1967) stated that he believes all previous records of Pumpkinseeds in the Kansas drainage are actually L. megalotis. He gave a discussion of reasons for the misnomer and the perpetuated error. However, he did give one "recent" (circa 1967) record from Johnson County (KU 10274) which may have been in the Kansas drainage. This could be the basis for the Cross et al. (1986) report.

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous 2001. Oregon's Warm Water Fishing with Public Access. [online]. URL at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFwhtml/FishText/WWFishing/WWFishAL.html

Casal, C.M.V.  2006. Global documentation of fish introductions: the growing crisis and recommendations for action. Biol Invasions 8:3–11.

Kynard, B.E. 1979. Population decline and change in frequencies of lateral plates in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Copeia 1979(4):635-638. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1443870.pdf.

Madison, D. 2003. Outlaw Introductions. Montana Outdoors. July/August: 26-35.

Moyle, P.B. 1976. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Osenberg C.W., G.G. Mittelbach, and P.C. Wainwright. 1992. Two-stage life histories in fish: the interaction between juvenile competition and adult performance. Ecology 73:

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

van Kleef, H., G. van der Velde, R.S.E. Leuven, and H. Esselink. 2008. Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) invasions facilitated by introductions and nature management strongly reduce macroinvertebrate abundance in isolated water bodies. Biological Invasions. 10:1481-1490.

Welcomme, R.L. 1988.  International introductions of inland aquatic species. FAO fisheries technical paper no. 294. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - ILNHS

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P., and Cannster, M.

Revision Date: 6/27/2019

Peer Review Date: 4/12/2013

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., and Cannster, M., 2024, Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=382, Revision Date: 6/27/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/12/2013, Access Date: 7/13/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/13/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.