Smallmouth Bass
Micropterus dolomieu

The Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a member of the sunfish family.

Report a discovery in an unlisted area

If you think you’ve seen or caught a Smallmouth Bass:

  • Do not release it into the water.
  • Catch it and keep it frozen. If you can’t do that, destroy it.
  • Note the location (with GPS coordinates if possible) as well as the observation date.
  • Contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Identifying features

Where it has been found

In Canada, it occurs in southern Nova Scotia, southern and western New Brunswick, southern Quebec, through Ontario at the latitude of Timmins, at the south end of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, in central Saskatchewan. In B.C., it has been introduced to the Columbia River system, as well as Saltspring Island and southern Vancouver Island.

Habitat

The Smallmouth Bass is a warm-water fish species, usually found in moderately shallow, rocky and sandy areas of lakes and rivers and in near shoals or submerged logs. It is less often associated with dense growths of aquatic vegetation than largemouth bass. It is less often associated with dense growths of aquatic vegetation than largemouth bass. This species has been introduced intentionally for sport fishing opportunities as well as accidentally with live bait.

Ecological and economic impacts

Smallmouth Bass are considered top predators and can reduce native fish populations or alter their behaviour. They may also affect the native food web by reducing small invertebrates and fish. Once established, this species can rapidly dominate. 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.

Origins and mode of arrival

The Smallmouth Bass is a freshwater fish native to the lakes and rivers of eastern central North America.

Mode of dissemination

There are many factors favoring Smallmouth Bass invasion including the small size at which it begin piscivory, juvenile use of cover, low overlap with other predators and high fecundity combined with parental care.

Government action

Scientific research

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is studying the Smallmouth Bass population to improve its understanding of how it reacts and adapts to Canadian conditions.

For further information

References

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