THE SMALLMOUTH BASS
Smallmouth bass ARE green with dark vertical bands rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13-15 soft rays in the dorsal fin, and the upper jaw never extends beyond the eye. Known maximum size in Texas exceeds 7.5 pounds. Micropterus is Greek meaning “small fin” [see Guadalupe bass for further explanation]. The species epithet dolomieu refers to the French mineralogist M. Dolomieu. Smallmouth bass in small streams a fish’s activity may be limited to just one stream pool or extend into several. The smallmouth bass spawn occurs in the spring. When water temperatures approach 60°F males move into spawning areas.
SMALLMOUTH BASS HISTORY
Spawning occurs in the spring.
Nests are usually located near shore in lakes.
Females lay between 2000 to 15,000 eggs.
Eggs hatch in about 10 days if water temperatures are in the mid-50’s.
Largemouth Bass lifespan is on average 16 years.
Males guard the nest from the time eggs are laid until fry begin to disperse.
Smallmouth feed on zooplankton, switching to insect larvae and finally fish and crayfish as they grow.
SMALLMOUTH BASS DISTRIBUTION
Smallmouth bass originally ranged north into Minnesota and southern Quebec, south to the Tennessee River in Alabama and west to eastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas. Today there are few states, east or west of the Rocky Mountains, where populations have not become established. Florida and Louisiana are apparently free of smallmouth bass.