Morone chrysops
Morone chrysops
(White Bass)
Native Transplant
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Morone chrysops (Rafinesque, 1820)

Common name: White Bass

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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

Size: 45 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from Quebec to Manitoba and south to Louisiana (Page and Burr 1991). Widespread throughout the Ohio and Mississippi drainages, the Great Lakes region, and southward to the Red River Basin (Hubbs et al. 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: White bass have been widely introduced into Alabama (Bonn et al. 1955; Smith-Vaniz 1968; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Boschung 1992, Bochung and Mayden 2004; Mettee et al. 1996); Arizona (Miller and Lowe 1967; Minckley 1973; Grabowski et al. 1984; Rinne 1995); California (Smith 1896; von Geldern 1966; Moyle 1976a; Dill and Cordone 1997); Colorado (Everhart and Seaman 1971; Ellis 1974; Tyus et al. 1982; Rasmussen 1998; Beckman 1952); Delaware (Raasch and Altemus 1991); Florida (Yerger 1977; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); Georgia (Bonn et al. 1955; Dahlberg and Scott 1971b; Yerger 1977; Pritchard et al. 1978; Burkhead et al. 1997; Dallmier 2005); Iowa (Young et al. 1997); Kansas (Bonn et al. 1955; Cross 1967; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); Kentucky (Bonn et al. 1955; Burr and Warren 1986); Louisiana (Conner and Suttkus 1986); Maryland (Hendricks et al. 1983); Mississippi (Pritchard et al. 1978); Missouri (Pflieger 1975; Young et al. 1997); Montana (Gould 1981; Holton 1990; Young et al. 1997); Nebraska (Jones 1963; Cross et al. 1986; Bouc 1987); Nevada (Deacon and Williams 1984; Insider Viewpoint 2001; Vinyard 2001); New Jersey (Bean 1903; Fowler 1906, 1952); New Mexico (Koster 1957; Sublette et al. 1990); New York (Daniels 2005); North Carolina (Tatum 1958; Pritchard et al. 1978; Hocutt et al. 1986; Menhinick 1991; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994); North Dakota (Gould 1981; Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990; North Dakota Game and Fish Department 1994, 1997); Ohio (Trautman 1981; Hocutt et al. 1986); Oklahoma (Bonn et al. 1955; Oklahoma Wildlife Commission 1963); Pennsylvania (Ford et al. 1892; Denoncourt et al. 1975a; Hendricks et al. 1979; Cooper 1983; Hocutt et al. 1986); found in the Savannah River, Hartwell lake, Lake Keowee, Lake Marion, Saluda River, Lake Murray, Broad River, Catawba River, and Pee Dee River in South Carolina (Loyacano 1975; Rohde et al. 1994; Rohde et al. 2009); South Dakota (Cross et al. 1986; North Dakota Game and Fish Department 1994; Young et al. 1997); Tennessee (Bonn et al. 1955; Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); Texas (Bonn et al. 1955; Kraai et al. 1983; Prentice 1985; Conner and Suttkus 1986; Red River Authority of Texas 2001; Anonymous 1992; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 1993); Utah (Sigler and Miller 1963; B. Schmidt, personal communication); Virginia (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994; Powers and Ceas 2000); Washington (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); West Virginia (Stauffer et al. 1995);  Wisconsin (Becker 1983); and Puerto Rico (Erdsman 1984).

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked for sportfishing. In California, white bass were initially intentionally stocked for sport fishing in Lake Nacimiento, an area that was managed to support them and where they would not pose a threat to other vulnerable species. However, the fish mysteriously appeared in Lake Kaweah. Apparently the fish had been transported and stocked illegally. The fish then gained access to the Tulare Lake basin when Lake Kaweah flooded in 1982 and 1983 (Dill and Cordone 1997).

Status: The white bass has been reported as established locally in most areas, except in Delaware, where the species is known from a single record in 1888 and, presumably is extirpated (Raasch and Altemus 1991). Attempts to establish the species in the Youghiogheny River, Maryland and Pennsylvania, have failed (Hendricks et al. 1979, 1983).

Impact of Introduction: When stocked in the native range of the yellow bass Morone mississippiensis these two species hybridize (Fries and Harvey 1989). In Utah Lake, Utah, white bass dominate all other fish species; because they are so abundant they severely deplete the food supply (Sigler and Sigler 1987). Once white bass were in the Tulare Lake basin they could potentially reach the Delta region where several threatened and endangered fishes and important sport and commercial species could be at risk from this "voracious predator" (Dill and Cordone 1997). The state opted to conduct a chemical treatment to eradicate the bass from Lake Kaweah and downstream waters. This was one the most extensive chemical treatments ever conducted in the United States. The cost of the project was about $7.5 million (Dill and Cordone 1997). The state may need to spend several million dollars more to treat other lakes linked to the Delta. This has been a controversial issue and is still on hold due to the controversy and finances (Dill and Cordone 1997). There is now no limit to the number of white bass that may be kept by an angler. Regulations also make it illegal to possess or transport live white bass and require immediate killing of any retained fish or the immediate return of any unwanted fish into the water body from which it was taken (Dill and Cordone 1997).

Remarks: Dill and Cordone (1997) gave a fascinating account of the introduction of this species into California and the resulting fallout. This account is also a good illustration of how fish can be dispersed even when they are thought to be contained.

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous. 1994b. Fishes of the Dakotas. Brochure. American Fisheries Society Dakota Chapter, and North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Bean, T. H. 1903. The food and game fishes of New York: notes on their common names, distribution, habits and mode of capture. J. B. Lyon Company, Albany, NY.

Boschung, H. T. 1992. Catalogue of freshwater and marine fishes of Alabama. Alabama Museum of Natural History Bulletin 14:1-266.

Boschung, H.T., Jr. and R.L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Books, Washington.

Bouc, K. 1987. The fish book. Nebraskaland Magazine 65(1):1-130.

Burr, B. M., and M. L. Warren, Jr. 1986. A distributional atlas of Kentucky fishes. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 4. 398 pp.

Cooper, E.L. 1983. Fishes of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University Press. University Park, PA. 243 pp.

Cross, F. B. 1967. Handbook of Fishes of Kansas. State Biological Survey and University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication 45, Topeka, KS.

Dahlberg, M. D., and D. C. Scott. 1971b. Introductions of freshwater fishes in Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:245-252.

Dallmier, K. 2005. Queen City Lake fisheries management plan. Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, Social Circle, GA.

Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

Denoncourt, R. F., T. B. Robbins, and R. Hesser. 1975a. Recent introductions and reintroductions to the Pennsylvania fish fauna of the Susquehanna River drainage above Conowingo Dam. Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 49:57-58.

Dill, W.A., and A.J. Cordone. 1997. History and status of introduced fishes in California, 1871-1996. Fish Bulletin 178. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA.

Ellis, M. M. 1974. Fishes of Colorado. University of Colorado Studies, Boulder, CO 11(1):1-136.

Erdsman, D.S.  1984.  Exotic fishes in Puerto Rico, p 162-176, In:  W.R.Jr. Courtenay and J.R.Jr. Stauffer, eds. Distribution, Biology, and Management of Exotic Fishes. John Hopkins. Baltimore and London.

Everhart, W. H., and W. R. Seaman. 1971. Fishes of Colorado. Colorado Game, Fish and Parks Division, Denver, CO. 75 pp.

Ford, H. C., H. C. Demuth, G. H. Welshons, S. B. Stillwel, L. Streuber, and W. L. Powell. 1892. Report of the Fish Commissioners for the years 1889-90-91. Pennsylvania Report of State Commissioners of Fisheries, Edwin K. Meyers, state printer, Harrisburg, PA. 19:1-156.

Fowler, H. W. 1906. The fishes of New Jersey. Pages 35-477 in Annual Report of the New Jersey State Museum (1905), part II. MacCrellish and Quigley, State Province, Trenton, NJ.

Fowler, H. W. 1952. A list of the fishes of New Jersey, with off-shore species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia CIV:89-151.

Fries, L.T., and W.D. Harvey. 1989. Natural hybridization of white bass with yellow bass in Texas. Transactions American Fisheries Soceity 118(1):87-89.

Grabowski, S. J., S. D. Hiebert, and D. M. Lieberman. 1984. Potential for introduction of three species of nonnative fishes into central Arizona via the Central Arizona Project ? A literature review and analysis. REC-ERC-84-7. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO.

Hendricks, M. L., J. R. Stauffer, Jr., C. H. Hocutt, and C. R. Gilbert. 1979. A preliminary checklist of the fishes of the Youghiogheny River. Chicago Academy of Sciences, Natural History Miscellanea 203:1-15.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986 . Zoogeography of the Fishes of the Central Appalachians and Central Atlantic Coastal Plain. 161-212 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The Zoogeography of North American Freshwater Fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Holton, G. D. 1990. A field guide to Montana fishes. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT. 104 pp.

Insider Viewpoint. 2001. Fishing Records – Nevada. Insider Viewpoint Magazine. 3 pp.

Jenkins, R. E., and N. M. Burkhead. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Jones, D. J. 1963. A history of Nebraska's fisheries resources. Dingell-Hohnson Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Project F-4-R Publication. Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission..

Koster, W. J. 1957. Guide to the fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Kraai, J. E., W. P. Provine, and J. A. Prentice. 1983. Case histories of three walleye stocking techniques with cost-to-benefit considerations. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 37(1983):395-400.

Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Loyacano, H.A., Jr. 1975. A list of freshwater fishes of South Carolina. Bulletin of the South Carolina Experimental Station 580:1-8.

Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona, p 133-151, In: C.H. Lowe, ed. The Vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press. Tucson.

Minckley, W. L. 1973. Fishes of Arizona. Arizona Fish and Game Department. Sims Printing Company, Inc., Phoenix, AZ.

Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Oklahoma Wildlife Commission. 1963. Know Your Oklahoma Fishes. Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma City, OK.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Pflieger, W. L. 1975. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO. 343 pp.

Powers, S.L. and P.A. Ceas. 2000. Ichthyofauna and biogeography of Russell Fork (Big Sandy River - Ohio River). Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings. 41: 1-12.

Prentice, J. A. 1985. Texas statewide walleye fishery management program. Federal Aid Project F-31-R-11.

Pritchard, D. L., O. D. May, Jr., and L. Rider. 1976. Stocking of predators in the predator-stocking-evaluation reservoirs. Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners 30(1976):108-113.

Raasch, M. S., and V. L. Altemus, Sr. 1991. Delaware's freshwater and brackish water fishes - a popular account. Delaware State College for the Study of Del-Mar-Va Habitats and the Society of Natural History of Delaware. 166 pp.

Rasmussen, J.L. 1998. Aquatic nuisance species of the Mississippi River basin. 60th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Aquatic Nuisance Species Symposium, Dec. 7, 1998, Cincinnati, OH.

Red River Authority of Texas. 2001. Red and Canadian Basins Fish Inventory: Grayson County. Red River Authority of Texas.

Rinne, J. N. 1994. The effects of introduced fishes on native fishes: Arizona, southwestern United States. World fisheries congress, May 1992, Athens, Greece.

Rohde, F. C., R. G. Arndt, J. W. Foltz, and J. M. Quattro. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 430 pp.

Rohde, F. C., R. G. Arndt, D. G. Lindquist, and J. F. Parnell. 1994. Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 122 pp.

Schmidt, B. - Chief Fisheries Mangement, Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, UT. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Sigler, F. F., and R. R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT. 203 pp.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: a natural history. University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV.

Smith, H. M. 1896. A review of the history and results of the attempts to acclimatize fish and other water animals in the Pacific states. Pages 379-472 in Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission, Vol. XV, for 1895.

Stauffer, J. R., Jr., J. M. Boltz, and L. R. White. 1993. The fishes of West Virginia. West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Unpublished manuscript. 1114 pp.

Sublette, J. E., M. D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM. 393 pp.

Trautman, M. B. 1981. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

von Geldern, C. E., Jr. 1966. The introduction of white bass (Roccus chrysops) into California. California Fish and Game 52(4):303.

Young, B. A., T. L. Welker, M. L. Wildhaber, C. R. Berry, and D. Scarnecchia, editors. 1997. Population structure and habitat use of benthic fishes along the Missouri and lower Yellowstone rivers. Annual Report of Missouri River Benthic Fish Study PD-95-5832. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 207 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 1/3/2017

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2018, Morone chrysops (Rafinesque, 1820): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 1/3/2017, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/21/2018

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/21/2018].

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