The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Ambloplites cavifrons
Ambloplites cavifrons
(Roanoke Bass)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Ambloplites cavifrons Cope, 1868

Common name: Roanoke Bass

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Page and Burr (1991); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: 36 cm.

Native Range: Endemic to the Chowan, Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse river drainages of Virginia and North Carolina (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Ambloplites cavifrons are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
NC199120135Deep; Lower Yadkin; Neuse; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Tennessee
VA187719725Lower James; Middle James-Willis; Upper James; Upper New; Upper Roanoke

Table last updated 6/12/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentional stocking for sportfishing. The lower James River was stocked in 1877 with fish from "Stony Creek". There are many "Stony Creeks" in Virginia, but this probably refers to one in the Chowan drainage. One individual was caught six years later. No others have been recorded. The upper James was also stocked in 1877 with fish from the Roanoke. This stocking also failed. In 1879, two adults from the Roanoke River were stocked in the New River at Radford, but they too failed to reproduce (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Status: Extirpated in the upper and lower James and middle New drainages in Virginia. Stockings in North Carolina did not establish populations (McBride et al. 1982; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Roanoke Bass are nearly extirpated in the upper Roanoke drainage due to competition from the introduced rock bass A. rupestris (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Both North Carolina and Virginia list Roanoke Bass as a species of special concern (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994).

References: (click for full references)

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

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

McBride, F.T., R.I. Jones, and F.A. Harris. Growth rates and food habits of Roanoke bass in the Eno and Tar Rivers, North Carolina. Proceedings of the annual conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 34:341-348.

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

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

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 10/3/2011

Peer Review Date: 10/3/2011

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Ambloplites cavifrons Cope, 1868: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=371, Revision Date: 10/3/2011, Peer Review Date: 10/3/2011, Access Date: 6/12/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/12/2024].

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