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 rupestris
Ambloplites rupestris
(Rock Bass)
Native Transplant
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Ambloplites rupestris (Rafinesque, 1817)

Common name: Rock Bass

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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

Size: 43 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins, from Quebec to Saskatchewan, south to the Savannah River drainage, Georgia, and northern Alabama, and Missouri (native in Missouri only to the Meramec River) (Page and Burr 1991; Cashner et al. 1992).

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 rupestris are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Alabama195019919Cahaba; Lower Black Warrior; Lower Coosa; Lower Tallapoosa; Middle Alabama; Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F; Middle Coosa; Upper Choctawhatchee; Upper Coosa
Arizona196019755Hassayampa; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Virgin; Middle Little Colorado; Upper Verde
Arkansas1888199722Beaver Reservoir; Buffalo; Bull Shoals Lake; Current; Dardanelle Reservoir; Eleven Point; Elk; Frog-Mulberry; Illinois; Little Missouri; Little Red; Lower Little Arkansas; Lower Neosho; Lower Saline; Middle White; Mountain Fork; North Fork White; Ouachita Headwaters; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir; Spring; Upper Ouachita; Upper Saline
California187419925Cottonwood-Tijuana; Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Lost; San Diego; San Pablo Bay
Colorado197419741Upper Arkansas-John Martin Reservoir
Connecticut185519964Housatonic; Lower Connecticut; New England Region; Thames
Delaware189120074Brandywine-Christina; Delaware Bay; Lower Delaware; Mid Atlantic Region
District of Columbia199919991Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan
Florida195919795Apalachicola; Blackwater; Choctawhatchee Bay; Lower Choctawhatchee; Yellow
Georgia196919924Conasauga; Coosawattee; Etowah; Upper Chattahoochee
Idaho190619062Clearwater; Payette
Illinois200020041Lower Ohio-Bay
Indiana194120074Eel; Lower East Fork White; Muscatatuck; Patoka
Louisiana195319994Lower Pearl; Mermentau; Tangipahoa; Tickfaw
Maryland189820108Cacapon-Town; Conococheague-Opequon; Gunpowder-Patapsco; Lower Susquehanna; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Monocacy; North Branch Potomac; Potomac
Massachusetts198020087Deerfield; Housatonic; Hudson-Hoosic; Lower Connecticut; Merrimack River; Middle Connecticut; Nashua
Michigan196820042Birch-Willow; Lake Huron
Minnesota196520044Pine; Prairie-Willow; Red Lakes; Rum
Mississippi195519897Buffalo; Buttahatchee; Homochitto; Lower Pearl; Middle Pearl-Silver; Middle Pearl-Strong; Upper Pearl
Missouri1960200729Big Piney; Blackwater; Bull Shoals Lake; Cuivre; Current; Eleven Point; Elk; James; Lake of the Ozarks; Lamine; Little River Ditches; Lower Gasconade; Lower Grand; Lower Missouri-Crooked; Lower Missouri-Moreau; Lower Osage; Niangua; North Fork White; Pomme De Terre; Sac; South Fork Salt; Spring; Spring; The Sny; Upper Black; Upper Gasconade; Upper Grand; Upper St. Francis; Whitewater
Montana195020103Lower Tongue; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Upper Tongue
Nebraska1901202044Big Papillion-Mosquito; Blackbird-Soldier; Calamus; Cedar; Dismal; Frenchman; Lewis and Clark Lake; Little Nemaha; Logan; Loup; Lower Elkhorn; Lower Little Blue; Lower Lodgepole; Lower Middle Loup; Lower Niobrara; Lower North Loup; Lower North Platte; Lower Platte; Lower Platte-Shell; Lower South Platte; Medicine; Middle Big Blue; Middle Niobrara; Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff; Middle Platte-Buffalo; Middle Platte-Prairie; Middle Republican; Missouri Region; North Fork Elkhorn; North Fork Republican; Ponca; Red Willow; Republican; Salt; Snake; South Fork Big Nemaha; South Loup; Upper Elkhorn; Upper Little Blue; Upper Middle Loup; Upper Niobrara; Upper North Loup; Upper Republican; Upper White
New Hampshire197320097Black-Ottauquechee; Contoocook; Middle Connecticut; New England; Upper Connecticut; Waits; West
New Jersey186720099Crosswicks-Neshaminy; Hackensack-Passaic; Lower Delaware; Mid Atlantic Region; Mid-Atlantic Region; Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead; Middle Delaware-Musconetcong; Mullica-Toms; Raritan
New Mexico189819903Caballo; Elephant Butte Reservoir; Upper Pecos-Black
New York1966201017Bronx; Chemung; Chenango; East Branch Delaware; Hudson-Hoosic; Hudson-Wappinger; Lower Hudson; Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead; Middle Hudson; Mohawk; Owego-Wappasening; Sacandaga; Schoharie; Upper Delaware; Upper Hudson; Upper Susquehanna; Upper Susquehanna
North Carolina1941201713Black; Lower Yadkin; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Seneca; South Fork Catawba; Upper Broad; Upper Catawba; Upper Dan; Upper New; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Tar; Upper Yadkin
North Dakota200120011Goose
Oklahoma192720068Elk; Illinois; Lake O' The Cherokees; Lower Neosho; Mountain Fork; Neosho; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir
Oregon188820033Lost; Middle Willamette; Pacific Northwest Region
Pennsylvania1892199925Bald Eagle; Cacapon-Town; Chemung; Conococheague-Opequon; Lower Delaware; Lower Juniata; Lower Susquehanna; Lower Susquehanna-Penns; Lower Susquehanna-Swatara; Lower West Branch Susquehanna; Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead; Middle Delaware-Musconetcong; Middle West Branch Susquehanna; Monocacy; Owego-Wappasening; Pine; Raystown; Schuylkill; Tioga; Upper Delaware; Upper Juniata; Upper Susquehanna; Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna; Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock; Upper West Branch Susquehanna
South Carolina177520092Seneca; Tugaloo
South Dakota196220165Cheyenne; Lewis and Clark Lake; Middle Cheyenne-Elk; Mud; Rapid
Texas194520174Lake Texoma; Middle Guadalupe; San Marcos; Upper Guadalupe
Utah189619832Upper Bear; Utah Lake
Vermont198619957Black-Ottauquechee; Mettawee River; Passumpsic; St. Francois River; Upper Connecticut-Mascoma; Waits; White
Virginia1875201428Appomattox; Conococheague-Opequon; James; Kanawha; Lower Chesapeake Bay; Lower Dan; Lower James; Lower Potomac; Maury; Meherrin; Middle James-Buffalo; Middle New; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; North Fork Shenandoah; Nottoway; Potomac; Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock; Rivanna; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Shenandoah; South Fork Shenandoah; Upper Dan; Upper James; Upper New; Upper Roanoke; York
Washington1893201611Duwamish; Grays Harbor; Lake Washington; Lower Chehalis; Lower Columbia; Lower Cowlitz; Nisqually; Pend Oreille; Puget Sound; Puyallup; Upper Chehalis
West Virginia198020039Cacapon-Town; Conococheague-Opequon; Gauley; Greenbrier; Lower New; Middle New; Potomac; South Branch Potomac; Upper James
Wyoming191019944Beaver; Clear; Upper Powder; Upper Tongue

Table last updated 6/25/2020

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentional stocking for sportfishing. Introduced into the Tongue River in Wyoming and moved downstream into Montana (Holton 1990). Rock Bass were extensively stocked in Missouri by state personnel during the 1930s and 1940s (Pflieger 1997). Probably gained access to the Hudson River in New York via migration through either the Erie and/or the Champlain canals (Mills et al. 1997). They were first taken there in a 1932 survey (Mills et al. 1997).

Status: Established in most locations. Extirpated in California (Hubbs et al. 1979; Dill and Cordone 1997). Reports of Rock Bass in California after circa 1930 are apparently erroneous; see Dill and Cordone (1997) for discussion. Apparently extirpated in Idaho; Simpson and Wallace (1978) do not mention it in their book of Idaho fishes. Extirpated in Utah (Sigler and Sigler 1996). Extirpated in the Rio Grande drainage, New Mexico, and persisting only in Blue Spring in the Pecos drainage.

Impact of Introduction: Rock Bass have severely affected Roanoke bass populations in the upper Roanoke drainage through hybridization and competition (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Roanoke bass declined after 1965, when Rock Bass reached high densities (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Ambloplites in eastern Oklahoma may represent hybrid forms between A. ariommus and A. rupestris as a result of intensive stocking efforts during the late 1800s and early 1900s (Cashner and Matthews 1988). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) speculated that introduced Rock Bass may have contributed to the demise of an isolated population of trout-perch Percopsis omiscomaycus in the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland. Nonnative predators, including Rock Bass, have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012).

Remarks: Although Loyacano (1975) lists this species in the Santee drainage, South Carolina, he did not distinguish it as introduced there. However, his publication only distinguished species not native to the state rather than to certain drainages.

References: (click for full references)

Becker, G.C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Madison Press, Madison, WI.

Beecher, H. A. and R. F. Fernau. 1982. Fishes of Oxbow Lakes of Washington. Northwest Science. 57(2): 125-131.

Cashner, R.C., T.M. Berra, and D.G. Cloutman. 1992. Reidentification of William Bartram's Savannah River Ambloplites, with early evidence for a Tennessee-Savannah faunal exchange. Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings 26:11-14.

Cashner, R.C., and W.J. Matthews. 1988. Changes in the known Oklahoma fish fauna from 1973 to 1988. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 68:1-7.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

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

Etnier, D.A., and W.C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tenneessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Hubbs, C.L., W.I. Follett, and L.J. Dempster. 1979. List of the fishes of California. Occassional Papers of the California Academy of Sciences 133:1-51.

Hughes, R.M. and A.T. Herlihy. 2012. Patterns in catch per unit effort of native prey fish and alien piscivorous fish in 7 Pacific Northwest USA rivers. Fisheries 37(5):201-211.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Robison, H.W., and T.M. Buchanan. 1998. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, AR.

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.

Sigler, W.F., and J.W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah: a natural history. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.

Simpson, J., and R. Wallace. 1978. Fishes of Idaho. University of Idaho Press, Moscow, ID.

Starnes, W.C., J. Odenkirk, and M.J. Ashton. 2011. Update and analysis of fish occurrences in the lower Potomac River drainage in the vicinity of Plummers Island, Maryland—Contribution XXXI to the natural history of Plummers Island, Maryland. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(4):280-309.

Sublette, J.E., M.D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.

Tilmant, J.T. 1999. Management of nonindigenous aquatic fish in the U.S. National Park System. National Park Service. 50 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 6/27/2019

Peer Review Date: 5/29/2012

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2020, Ambloplites rupestris (Rafinesque, 1817): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=373, Revision Date: 6/27/2019, Peer Review Date: 5/29/2012, Access Date: 10/26/2020

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. [2020]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [10/26/2020].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted. For queries involving fish, please contact Matthew Neilson. For queries involving invertebrates, contact Amy Benson.