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

Copyright Info
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.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
AL195019919Cahaba; Lower Black Warrior; Lower Coosa; Lower Tallapoosa; Middle Alabama; Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F; Middle Coosa; Upper Choctawhatchee; Upper Coosa
AZ196019755Hassayampa; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Virgin; Middle Little Colorado; Upper Verde
AR1888199722Beaver Reservoir; Buffalo; Bull Shoals Lake; Current; Dardanelle Reservoir; Eleven Point; Elk; Frog-Mulberry; Illinois; Little Missouri; Little Red; Lower Little Arkansas, Oklahoma; Lower Neosho; Lower Saline; Middle White; Mountain Fork; North Fork White; Ouachita Headwaters; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir; Spring; Upper Ouachita; Upper Saline
CA187419925Cottonwood-Tijuana; Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Lost; San Diego; San Pablo Bay
CO197419741Upper Arkansas-John Martin Reservoir
CT185520205Housatonic; New England Region; Outlet Connecticut River; Saugatuck; Thames
DE189120204Brandywine-Christina; Delaware Bay; Lower Delaware; Mid Atlantic Region
DC199919991Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan
FL195919795Apalachicola; Blackwater; Choctawhatchee Bay; Lower Choctawhatchee; Yellow
GA196920204Conasauga; Coosawattee; Etowah; Upper Chattahoochee
ID190619062Clearwater; Payette
IL200020041Lower Ohio-Bay
IN194120074Eel; Lower East Fork White; Muscatatuck; Patoka
LA195319994Lower Pearl; Mermentau; Tangipahoa; Tickfaw
ME202120211Lower Androscoggin River
MD189820228Cacapon-Town; Conococheague-Opequon; Gunpowder-Patapsco; Lower Susquehanna; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Monocacy; North Branch Potomac; Potomac
MA1980202010Ashuelot River-Connecticut River; Concord River; Deerfield River; Farmington River; Housatonic; Hudson-Hoosic; Merrimack River; Nashua River; Outlet Connecticut River; Westfield River
MI196820042Birch-Willow; Lake Huron
MN196520044Pine; Prairie-Willow; Red Lakes; Rum
MS195519897Buffalo; Buttahatchee; Homochitto; Lower Pearl; Middle Pearl-Silver; Middle Pearl-Strong; Upper Pearl
MO1960200729Big 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
MT195020103Lower Tongue; Lower Yellowstone-Sunday; Upper Tongue
NE1901202044Big 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
NH197320209Ammonoosuc River-Connecticut River; Ashuelot River-Connecticut River; Black River-Connecticut River; Contoocook River; Headwaters Connecticut River; Merrimack River; New England; West River-Connecticut River; Winnipesaukee River
NJ186720229Crosswicks-Neshaminy; Hackensack-Passaic; Lower Delaware; Mid Atlantic Region; Mid-Atlantic Region; Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead; Middle Delaware-Musconetcong; Mullica-Toms; Raritan
NM189819903Caballo; Elephant Butte Reservoir; Upper Pecos-Black
NY1966202217Bronx; 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
NC1941201713Black; Lower Yadkin; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Seneca; South Fork Catawba; Upper Broad; Upper Catawba; Upper Dan; Upper New; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Tar; Upper Yadkin
OH201920191Lake Erie
OK192720068Elk; Illinois; Lake O' The Cherokees; Lower Neosho; Mountain Fork; Neosho; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir; Robert S. Kerr Reservoir
OR188820033Lost; Middle Willamette; Pacific Northwest Region
PA1892202225Bald 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
SC177520092Seneca; Tugaloo
SD196220165Cheyenne; Lewis and Clark Lake; Middle Cheyenne-Elk; Mud; Rapid
TX194520234Lake Texoma; Middle Guadalupe; San Marcos; Upper Guadalupe
UT189619832Upper Bear; Utah Lake
VT198620208Ammonoosuc River-Connecticut River; Black River-Connecticut River; Deerfield River; Mettawee River; Passumpsic River; St. Francois River; Waits River-Connecticut River; White River
VA1875201428Appomattox; 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
WA1893202011Duwamish; Grays Harbor; Lake Washington; Lower Chehalis; Lower Columbia; Lower Cowlitz; Nisqually; Pend Oreille; Puget Sound; Puyallup; Upper Chehalis
WV197320039Cacapon-Town; Conococheague-Opequon; Gauley; Greenbrier; Lower New; Middle New; Potomac; South Branch Potomac; Upper James
WY191019944Beaver; Clear; Upper Powder; Upper Tongue

Table last updated 7/17/2024

† 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, 2024, 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: 7/17/2024

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.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/17/2024].

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