Smallmouth Bass

Dark olive to brown on back, sides bronze, belly white with five dark vertical bands on sides. Eyes reddish. Dorsal fin with 9 or 10 sharp spines without a deep notch separating them from the soft rays. Upper jaw when closed does not extend beyond the rear edge of the eye.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Micropterus dolomieu
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
6-14 Years
SIZE
11-22 ” | 2-9 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Native to central and eastern North America, especially the upper Mississippi and Great Lakes region. Smallmouth Bass have been introduced extensively throughout North America. Smallmouth Bass are one of the most popular and abundant game species in Lakes Mead and Mohave. It is also found in the Humboldt River, Dry Creek Reservoir, Wildhorse Reservoir, Rye Patch, Carson River, Lahontan Reservoir and Wall Canyon Reservoir. Generally found in rocky lakes and reservoirs but has adapted to warmer, slower streams and rivers.

Threats

  • Predation from carp eating eggs during spawn

Natural History

A North American freshwater native, the Smallmouth Bass is a polular game fish known for the fight it gives to anglers, once hooked. Unlike their Wiper and Largemouth Bass relatives, they generally feed below the surface of the water on crayfish, shad, and smaller fish. Their feeding habits can vary depending on weather, season and time of day.