Lives in rocky areas and vegetated margins of lakes and streams (Ref. 5259), primarily in lakes preferring still or gently flowing waters (Ref. 51290, 44894). Adults prefer the shelter provided by complex habitats such as rocky lake shores and also in-lake macrophytes beds and marsh habitats (Ref. 51290). Juveniles occur in the water column until 4-5 months of age (40 mm in length) and then move inshore seeking shelter and larger prey items (Ref. 51290). Shoaling in open water when young (Ref. 44894). Feeds on insects, insect larvae and crustaceans (Ref. 5259, 44894) and mollusks with cannibalism of eggs and juvenile fish being common (Ref. 51290, 44894). Breeds in early spring among rocks in the shallows (Ref. 44894). Most fish live for 3-4 years with some reaching over 6 years of age (Ref. 51290).