Micropterus dolomieu
Micropterus dolomieu
(Smallmouth Bass)
Native Transplant
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Micropterus dolomieu Lacepède, 1802

Common name: Smallmouth Bass

Synonyms and Other Names: Micropterus dolomieui is a common misspelling.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Moyle (2002).

Size: 69 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec to North Dakota and south to northern Alabama and eastern Oklahoma; Atlantic and Gulf slope drainages from Virginia to central Texas (Page and Burr 1991).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Smallmouth Bass has been stocked extensively and is reported as being stocked in Alabama (Boschung 1992; Mettee et al. 1996); Arkansas (Lee 1980); Arizona (Minckley 1973; Miller and Lowe 1967); California (Smith 1896; Shebley 1917; Neale 1931; Lampman 1946; Sommer et al. 2001; Moyle 2002); Colorado (Everhart and Seaman 1971; Tyus et al. 1982; Walker 1993; Rasmussen 1998); Connecticut (Webster 1942; Behnke and Wetzel 1960; Whitworth et al. 1968; Schmidt 1986; Whitworth 1996); Delaware (Raasch and Altemus 1991); District of Columbia (Starnes et al. 2011); Georgia (Dahlberg and Scott 1971; Yerger 1977); Hawaii (Brock 1960; Maciolek 1984); Idaho (Linder 1963; Idaho Fish and Game 1990); Illinois (Burr, personal communication); Kansas (Cross 1967; Cross et al. 1986); Kentucky (Burr and Warren 1986); Maine (Kendall 1914; Everhart 1976; Schmidt 1986; Anonymous 2004); Maryland (Davis, personal communication; Starnes et al. 2011); Massachusetts (Schmidt 1986; Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 2002); Michigan (Hubbs and Lagler 1947); Minnesota (Eddy and Underhill 1974); Mississippi (Ross and Brenneman 1991); Missouri (Pflieger 1971, 1997; Lee 1980); Montana (Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990); Nebraska (Morris et al. 1974; Cross et al. 1986); Nevada (Smith 1896; Miller and Alcorn 1946; La Rivers 1962; Deacon and Williams 1984); New Hampshire (Hoover 1936; Scarola 1973; Schmidt 1986); New Jersey (Fowler 1906, 1952); New Mexico (Sublette et al. 1990); New York (Cheney 1897; Schmidt 1986; Whittier et al. 2000); North Carolina (Hocutt et al. 1986; Menhinick 1991); North Dakota (Lee 1980; Cross et al. 1986); Oklahoma (Miller and Robison 1973); Oregon (Wydoski and Whitney 1979; Bond 1994; Anonymous 2001); Pennsylvania (Cooper 1983; Hocutt et al. 1986); Rhode Island (Lapin, personal communication); Chattooga River, Lake Keowee, Lake Jocassee, Lake Hartwell, Richard B. Russell Lake, Turkey Creek, Saluda River drainage, Savannah, Santee, Cooper, Pee Dee, and Broad River in South Carolina (Loyacano 1975; Lee 1980; Hocutt et al. 1986; Rohde et al. 2009); South Dakota (Lee 1980; Cross et al. 1986); Texas (Hubbs and Peden 1968; Kraai et al. 1983; Conner and Suttkus 1986; Rasmussen 1998; Red River Authority of Texas 2001); Utah (Sigler and Miller 1963; Tyus et al. 1982; Teuscher and Luecke 1996); Vermont (Whittier and Hartel 1997); Virginia (Lee 1980; Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); Washington (Lampman 1946; Gray and Dauble 1977; Wydoski and Whitney 1979); West Virginia (Stauffer et al. 1995); Wisconsin (Becker 1983); and Wyoming (Baxter and Simon 1970; Hubert 1994; Stone 1995).

Means of Introduction: Intentional stocking for sportfishing.

Status: Established in most of the above states. Reported in Mississippi.

Impact of Introduction: In Arizona, Smallmouth Bass reportedly are responsible for eliminating or reducing some populations of native fishes (Minckley 1973). Smallmouth Bass have been shown to eat smolts of Pacific salmonids, therefore posing a threat to these already declining species in the Columbia River (Dentler 1993). Similar trends have been observed in other major rivers of the Pacific Northwest, with Smallmouth Bass consuming up to 35 percent of outmigrating wild salmon. Kuehne and Olden (2012) found that juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha showed fewer anti-predator flight and panic responses when exposed to Smallmouth Bass odors compared to odors from native Northern Pikeminnow Ptychocheilus oregonensis, indicating that salmonids may not recognize Smallmouth Bass as potential predators and prey naivety enhances success of novel predators. Smallmouth Bass experience a niche shift, switching food preference from insects and zooplankton to crayfish and fish, that causes competitive interactions with many other fish species (Carey et al. 2011). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) speculated that introduced Smallmouth Bass may have contributed to the demise of an isolated population of Trout-perch Percopsis omiscomaycus in the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland. Smallmouth Bass were introduced into Flaming Gorge Reservoir to reduce the Utah Chub Gila atraria (Teuscher and Luecke 1996). Introduced predatory centrarchids are likely responsible for the decline of native ranid frogs in California and for the decline of California tiger salamander Ambystoma californiense populations (Hayes and Jennings 1986; Dill and Cordone 1997). Nonnative predators, including Smallmouth Bass, have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012). The presence of Smallmouth Bass, along with other introduced piscivores, reduced the richness of native minnow communities in Adirondack lakes (Findlay et al. 2000). Introduction of Smallmouth Bass may be driving isolation and population fragmentation in Umpqua Chub (Oregonichthys kalawatseti) in lower order streams in the Smith River drainage, Oregon (O'Malley et al. 2013).

Introduction of the Smallmouth Bass into the native range of Guadalupe Bass M. treculii in southcentral Texas has resulted in hybridization between the two species (Edwards 1979; Whitmore 1983). This hybrid bass is found in Canyon Lake and the San Marcos system, Guadalupe River drainage, on the Edwards Plateau in Texas (Whitmore 1983; International Game Fish Association 1994). It was first recognized by Edwards (1979) and later verified by Whitmore (1983). The hybrid is fertile and is capable of backcrossing to the parent species, with more backcrossing to Smallmouth Bass than to Guadalupe Bass (Whitmore 1983). Introgressive hybridization represents another threat to the already depleted Guadalupe Bass by compromising its genetic integrity (Whitmore 1983). Although Lake Travis, on the Colorado River, also has been stocked with Smallmouth Bass, Whitmore (1983) found no evidence of hybridization there. Bean et al. (2013) used microsatellites to estimate introgression rates of Smallmouth Bass within Guadalupe Bass in the Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe-San Antonio, and Nueces drainages; introgression was found within 4 subbasins, with rates highest in the Guadalupe subbasin. The Smallmouth Bass also hybridizes with the Spotted Bass M. punctulatus when stocked in the Spotted Bass's native range or when both species are stocked in the same area. The Smallmouth/Spotted Bass hybrid has been found in the Verde River, Arizona (Minckley 1973); California (Moyle 2002); the Marmaton River, Barbour County, Kansas (Cross 1967; museum specimen KU 4682); and southeastern Oklahoma (formerly described as M. punctulatus wichitae) (Cofer 1995). A third hybrid resulting from stocking Smallmouth Bass is the Smallmouth/Largemouth hybrid. Introduced Smallmouth Bass hybridize with native Largemouth Bass in Squaw Reservoir in northcentral Texas (Whitmore and Hellier 1988).

There are a few benefits despite the negative impacts of Smallmouth Bass. Bass anglers account for a high influx of revenue in the Pacific Northwest, which helps supports the existing fisheries as well as conservation and management efforts in the region. In addition, anglers enjoy increased bag and size limits for Smallmouth Bass. These regulations allow anglers to play a role in managing the native fish populations by decreasing non-native population size (Carey et al. 2011).

Remarks: Introduced bass likely affect small fish populations through predation. Tyus et al. (1982) gave a distribution map of the this species in the upper Colorado basin. MacCrimmon and Robbins (1975) showed a map depicting this species' native and introduced range.

References: (click for full references)

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FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 1/25/2016

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, Matt Cannister, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Micropterus dolomieu Lacepède, 1802: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=396, Revision Date: 1/25/2016, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 3/22/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [3/22/2018].

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