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Report an Invasive Species

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

(Micropterus dolomieu)

Identification and Reproduction

Identification:

  • Medium-sized, deep-bodied fish with green to olive back and sides and cream to white underside. 
  • Body often has dark vertical broken bars with 9 to 11 dorsal fin spines.
  • Shallow notch between dorsal fins.
  • Long, blunt snout with a slightly longer lower jaw. 
  • Sides are lighter than the back, with more golden flecks on the scales. 
  • Eyes are either brown or red. 

Reproduction:

  • Smallmouth bass reproduce to bear a substantial number of offspring by spawning.
  • The smallmouth is a dioecious animal, with separate male and female individuals.  
  • The fusion of meiotically-produced haploid gametes, those being sperm from a male and eggs from a female, leads to the formation of diploid zygotes.
  • Females can lay up to 21,100 eggs in a nest. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • They are found in shallow, rocky and sandy areas of warm lakes and rivers. 
  • Shoreline rocks and points, offshore shoals, deep water.
  • Similar to trout habitat but with a wider range of temperatures.
  • Smallmouth Bass are considered top predators and can reduce native fish populations or alter their behaviour. 

Impacts

  • Smallmouth Bass are considered top predators and can affect the native food web by reducing small invertebrates and fish.
  • It has been found to feed upon migrating salmon smolts and may pose a threat to salmon populations if the timing of the salmon run coincides with active bass populations.

Management

  • Do not return species to the water
  • Note the exact location, observation data and take photo.
  • Report to local invasive species council. 
  • IF FOUND IN CULTUS LAKE, FOLLOW THESE REPORTING INSTRUCTIONS.

Resources

For more help identifying smallmouth bass check out Ontario's factsheet on fish eating Ontario native fish here

For more information on Smallmouth Bass refer to Fisheries and Oceans Canada's factsheet here

Download BC's Invasive Species Alert on Smallmouth Bass here. 

Header photo (US Fish and Wildlife Service).