in the Local Area:
Lake, Aylen Lake, Balfour Lake, Baptiste Lake, Bark
Lake, Batelle Lake, Bay Lake, Bell Rapids Lake, Bow
Lake, Card Lake, Cardwell Lake, Cashel Lake, Clarke
Lake, Derry Lake, Faraday Lake, Galeairy Lake, Gin Lake,
Hay Lake, Headstone Lake, Holland Lake, Horse Lake,
Jamieson Lake, Kamaniskeg Lake, Lake St. Ola, Lake St.
Peter, L'Amable Lake, Lavellee Lake, Limerick Lake,
Little Mayo Lake, Long Lake, Lower Hay Lake, Lower Paudash
Lake, Mallard Lake, Mayo Lake, McCauley Lake, McKenzie
Lake, Mephisto Lake, Mink Lake, Purdy Lake, Rapid Lake,
Salmon Trout Lake, Steenburg Lake, Watt Lake, Weslemkoon
Lake, Wollaston Lake,
Micropterus, from the Greek,
dolomieui, in honor of Dieudonné de Dolomieu,
a French mineralogist
Common name from the size of its mouth relative to that
of its cousin, the Largemouth Bass. (In and of itself
the Smallmouth doesn't have a particularly small mouth.)
Other common names include: Black Bass, Bronzeback,
Brown Bass, Browny, Green Bass, Green Trout, Jumper,
Mountain Trout, Northern Smallmouth Bass, Oswego Bass,
Redeye Bass, River Bass, Smallie, Smallmouth Black Bass,
Phylum Chordata, animals with a spinal chord
Subphylum Vertebrata, animals with a backbone
Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fishes
Class Actinopterygii, ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
Order Perciformes, perch-like fishes
Family Centrarchidae, sunfish
Genus Micropterus, black basses, largemouth basses
A slender, streamlined perch
brown, golden-brown, through
olive to green on back
sides lighter, with faint, evenly spaced, wavy olive
cream to milk-white underside
broad lateral line
5 olive-green bars radiate back from the red eye and
1 radiates forward to the end of the snout.
spiny and soft portions of dorsal
fin broadly connected, with only a shallow notch between
tail fin in young distinctly tri-colored, with a black
vertical bar separating the yellowish fin base.
moderately large mouth, where
the upper jaw reaches to near the rear margin of the
eye in adults
Distinguished from its largemouth
its mouth, though hardly small, is no match for the
largemouth's; the maxilla extends rearward only about
even with the pupil.
notch between the spiny and soft parts of the dorsal
irregular vertical bars or a continuous shading of dark
brown above to a gray or cream below.
Primarily an inhabitant of swift
flowing, less turbid waters in rivers and smaller streams,
usually near rocks. (Prefers gravel under 1" in
diameter to build nests and spawn). Does well in northern
Water temperatures must reach the low 60 ºs for
spawning, one reason many coldwater streams hold trout
rather than bass.
Needs a great amount of dissolved oxygen and, in streams,
a dependable streamflow and modest current.
Retreats to pools, undercut banks, or deep water to
avoid bright daylight. Most active in early morning
and evening. In winter, they gather near bottom and
feed little until spring and water temperatures rise
to about 47 º F.
Crayfish are favored prey, though
they also feed heavily on fish. Crustaceans and larger
insects also figure in diet.
Newly hatched young consume copepods and cladocerans
but begin to forage on insects when about ½"
long. By the time fingerlings are 1½" in
length, insects and small fish comprise bulk of diet.
U.S. Record: 11 lbs 15oz, from
Dale Hollow Lake, Kentucky, 1955
Minnesota Record: 8 lbs 0oz, from West Battle Lake (Otter
regarded as a feisty sport fish. It is usually associated
with a rocky stream or lake environment where its favorite
food, crayfish, is abundant.
Spawns in spring, in gravelly
shallows of lakes or large, gentle eddies in streams,
when water temperatures reach 62º-64º F.
Male assembles a saucer-shaped nest, 14"-25"
in diameter, on the gravel, coarse sand or rock bottom
by sweeping its tail over the substrate. The female
lays 2,000 to 10,000 eggs and then heads for deep water.
Male protects the nest from predators of his own and
other species and fans the eggs free of silt until the
sac fry emerge in 3-5 days, depending on water temperature.
Re-nesting is quite common, particularly when early
nests are destroyed by flood or similar natural disaster.
Newly hatched sac fry swim over the nest in a school
for about 6-15 days, moving sluggishly until all the
nourishment in the yolk sac is consumed. The young fry
are about one-half inch long when the yolk sac is absorbed,
and they leave the nest to feed on small crustaceans
As with the Largemouth, there is no relationship between
the number of spawning fish and the success of the spawn.
The strength of the year class depends solely on water
conditions - in particular, the absence of a sudden
cold snap or muddy floodwaters that can kill eggs and
Sexually mature in the second or third year, but where
food is scarce or water relatively cool in all seasons,
may not occur until third or fourth year.