So we feed our hatchery bluegill some throughout the winter. A recent study at Oklahoma State University found that bluegill fed throughout the winter had lower mortality rates than those that were not, even at water temperatures as low as four degrees Celsius.
The bluegill in the study, of course, were almost certainly northern-strain bluegill. Everybody knows Florida bluegill cower at the bottom of the pond all winter, barely surviving, or watching their brothers and sisters die all around them, right?
Here’s a little video we took this afternoon. The water temperature was 8.6 Celsius (47.5 degrees Fahrenheit). This is one of our hand-painted bluegill ponds, on December 12, two days after our coldest night of the year thus far during which we got down to twenty-one degrees Fahrenheit air temperature: