They are found from central Canada down through the eastern half of the United States north of Georgia.
They live in clear lakes, ponds and large rivers.
They are yellow with darker bars up and down across their sides. They have sharp spines on their dorsal fin, making them a tricky fish to catch and de-hook. Females are larger than males reaching up to a foot long.
They live in schools during active daylight hours (and especially when they are young) to help protect themselves from predators. They are important prey for many other fish.
They eat water insects and small fish, swallowing them whole.
Females lay more than 20,000 eggs in the early spring in shallow, sandy or gravely spawning grounds. The males follow and fertilize the eggs. The eggs hatch in a little over 2 weeks.
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