Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu

Type of Animal:

Rocky areas/stumps in clear lakes/clear rivers/clear streams/reservoirs, shallow rocky areas in ponds, clear gravel bottom river runs, river pools, cool streams, reservoirs fed by cool flowing streams, rock/gravel/sand areas in ponds, clear cool reservoirs, clear lakes, clear rivers, clear streams, clean clear unpolluted cool small channels, man-made water bodies, dams, rocky tumbling hillstream & slow-flowing less oxygenated lower-middle river transition areas, rocky structures/fallen trees in lakes/ponds, middle to upper reaches in rivers, riverbends, creek bends, creek junctions, below generating stations, bottom of tail-races, in/around bridges/support structures, deeper holes/channels by prominent weed edges in clear lakes/reservoirs, lake juts, clumps/beds of aquatic vegetation, underwater rocky outcrops, ruined buildings, under old highways, bottoms w/ different-sized rocks/gravel/pebbles of dissimilar size, highland reservoirs, canyonland reservoirs, impoundments, sandy weedy areas, sandy lake/reservoir bottoms, rocky ledges in lakes, lake gravel bottoms, debris-laden shores of tree stumps/fallen brush in river/lake beds, submerged ridges/islands in deep water, not found in water less than 10 ft deep & prefer water temps of 50-82 F

Native to upper/middle Mississippi River basin, Saint Lawrence River-Great Lakes system, & Hudson Bay basin in US & S Canada. Introduced/invasive in most of continental US except for Florida, S Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Belize, much of Europe, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Guam, Fiji, Mauritius, southern Africa, & Tanzania.

Brown (sometimes w/ blackish/greenish) fish w/ red/brown eyes, dark brown vertical bands along sides, river bass more torpedo-shaped/darker, lake bass lighter yellow-brown & more oval-shaped

Fish (including own species), crustaceans, insects, insect larvae, zooplankton, amphibians, lizards

Status in Wild:

Not applicable

Adults solitary or in schools of 5-15 fish. Juveniles more social found in schools of up to 40. Fry stay in schools guarded by dad for up to a month.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry/Fingerling
Group: School
Male: 2 lbs
Female: 3-6 lbs
Young: 0.5 lb

4-10 days 

Life Span:
6-12 years

Male: 2.5-4.5 in
Female: 4.5-6.5 in

Body Length:
Male: 0.92-1.08 ft
Female: 1.08-1.3 ft
Young: 1.5 in

Tail Length:
1.5 in, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are larger fish (including larger members of own species), large turtles, ospreys, bald eagles, kingfishers, alligators, large herons, otters, bears, & raccoons. Herons, turtles, yellow perch, sunfish, snakes, frogs, & round gobies prey on juveniles/young.

Fun Fact(s):
A single female can lay up to 14,000 eggs in a season.
Often called smallies.
Most people believe these fish taste better than largemouth bass.
They’re very popular game fish.
They’re well-known for putting up a fight when caught.

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