Introducing “Fish Fry Day”


Here in Wisconsin, the end of the work week is often celebrated with a dinner of lightly battered, deep-fried deliciousness. We’re talking bluegill, perch, walleye and, for those not yet hip enough to eat our delectable native fish – cod.
Here at the blog, we decided we’d celebrate the quintessential fish fry by taking some time at the end of each week to single out a freshwater species living in our world’s lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.
A pumpkinseed fish, member of the sunfish family. Photo: Shedd Aquarium
A pumpkinseed, member of the sunfish family. Photo: Shedd Aquarium

“Fish Fry Day” won’t be all about just panfish, we’ll try to keep the photos of our staff holding up trophy muskies to a minimum, and we’ll even venture out of Wisconsin once in a while. We hope you enjoy.
For round one we’ll pretend that the current weather is actually Spring deciding to show up around here. This video was shot a few field seasons ago by Gretchen Anderson Hansen, a postdoc here in Hasler Lab. It shows a sneaky pumpkinseed trying to get some of his own genetic code into the mix as a much larger male woos a female on his nest.
As you can see, keeping out interlopers is all part of the game when it comes to spawning.

A fun fact about pumpkinseeds – the males are doting fathers, guarding over their newly hatched brood for a week and a half and even returning the young back to the nest in their mouths, should the little ones get too adventurous. For more on pumpkinseeds, here’s an info sheet from our friends at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.