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Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu

 

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Smallmouth Bass
credit: Ianare Sevi

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Family: Centrarchidae, Sunfishes view all from this family



Description The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus. One of the black basses, it is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stock to many cool-water tributaries and lakes in the United States and Canada. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include Smallmouth, Bronzeback, Brown Bass, Brownie, Smallie, Bronze Bass, and Bare back Bass.

The smallmouth bass is generally brown (seldom yellow) with red eyes,and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye.

Males are generally smaller than females. The males tend to range around two pounds while females can range from three to six pounds. Their average sizes can differ, depending on where they are found; those found in American waters tend to be larger due to the longer summers, which allow them to eat and grow for a longer period of time.

Their habitat plays a significant role in their color, weight, and shape. River water smallmouth that live among dark water tend to be rather torpedo shaped and very dark brown in order to be more efficient for feeding. Lakeside smallmouth bass however, that live for example in sandy areas, tend to be a light yellow brown to adapt to the environment in a defensive state and are more oval shaped.


Dimensions Up to 24" (61 cm); 12 lbs (5.4 kg).


Habitat Lakes & ponds, Rivers & streams.


Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada.


 

 

 

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