Micropterus salmoides
Micropterus salmoides
(Largemouth Bass)
Native Transplant
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Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède, 1802)

Common name: Largemouth Bass

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994); Moyle (2002); Page and Burr (2011).

Size: 97 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec to Minnesota and south to the Gulf; Atlantic Slope drainages from North Carolina to Florida; Gulf Slope drainages from southern Florida into northern Mexico (Page and Burr 2011).

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: The Largemouth Bass is reported in Arkansas (Pritchard et al. 1978); Arizona (Miller and Lowe 1967; Minckley 1973; Behnke and Benson 1980; Hendrickson et al. 1980; Tyus et al. 1982; Tilmant 1999; USFWS 2005); California (Smith 1896; Shebley 1917; Neale 1931; Moyle 1976a; Hubbs et al. 1979; Shapovalov et al. 1981; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993e, 2005; Tilmant 1999; Sommer et al. 2001; Matern et al. 2002; Bryan 1969); Colorado (Beckman 1952; Everhart and Seaman 1971; Holden and Stalnaker 1975; Behnke and Benson 1980; Tyus et al. 1982; Propst and Carlson 1986; Rasmusen 1998; Tilmant 1999); Connecticut (Behnke and Wetzel 1960; Whitworth et al. 1968; Schmidt 1986; Whitworth 1996; Tilmant 1999); Delaware (Raasch and Altemus 1991); District of Columbia (Tilmant 1999); Georgia (Pritchard et al. 1978); Hawaii (Brock 1960; Maciolek 1984); Idaho (Smith 1896; Linder 1963; Idaho Fish and Game 1990; Anonymous 2004); Illinois (Burr, personal communication); Iowa (Bailey and Allum 1962); Kansas (Cross 1967; Tilmant 1999); Kentucky (Burr and Warren 1986); Maine (Kendall 1914a; Everhart 1976; Schmidt 1986; Mallard 2003); Maryland (Ferguson 1876; Truitt et al. 1929; Tilmant 1999; Starnes et al. 2011); Massachusetts (Schmidt 1986; Hartel 1992; Hartel et al. 1996; Tilmant 1999; USFWS 2005; Grice 1956); Michigan (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.); Minnesota (Phillips et al. 1982; Tilmant 1999); Mississippi (Pritchard et al. 1978); Missouri (Pflieger 1971, 1975; Renken 2002 ); Montana (Cross et al. 1986; Holton 1990; Tilmant 1999; Mann 2004); Nebraska (Morris et al. 1974); Nevada (Miller and Alcorn 1946; La Rivers 1962; Bradley and Deacon 1967; Hubbs et al. 1974; Deacon and Williams 1984; Insider Viewpoint 2001; USFWS 2005; Vinyard 2001; Tilmant 1999); New Hampshire (Scarola 1973; Schmidt 1986); New Jersey (Nelson 1890; Fowler 1952; Soldwedel, personal communication; USFWS 2005); New Mexico (Tyus et al. 1982; Sublette et al. 1990); New York (Smith 1985; Schmidt 1986; Whittier et al. 2000; USFWS 2005); North Carolina (Menhinick 1991); North Dakota (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Cross et al. 1986); Oklahoma (Miller and Robison 1973); Oregon (Smith 1896; Wydoski and Whitney 1979; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993e, 2005; Bond 1994; Logan et al. 1996; State of Oregon 2000; Anonymous 2001; Ridler 2004); Pennsylvania (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Copper 1983; Hocutt et al. 1986; Schmidt 1986; Tilmant 1999); Rhode Island (Lapin, personal communication); South Dakota (Bailey and Allum 1962; Cross et al. 1986); Texas (Kraai et al. 1983; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 1993; Red River Authority 2001); Utah (Smith 1896; Sharp 1898; Sigler and Miller 1963; Behnke and Benson 1980; Tyus et al. 1982; Tilmant 1999); Vermont (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Tilmant 1999); Virginia (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; Hocutt et al. 1986; Jenkins and Burkhead 1994; Tilmant 1999; Starnes et al. 2011); Washington (Smith 1896; Gray and Dauble 1977; Wydoski and Whitney 1979; Tilmant 1999; USFWS 2005; Four Seasons Campground and Resort 2003); West Virginia (Stauffer et al. 1995); Wisconsin (Becker 1983); and Wyoming (Baxter and Simon 1970; Behnke and Benson 1980; Tyus et al. 1982; Cross et al. 1986; Hubert 1994; Tilmant 1999).

The Largemouth Bass is also stocked in Puerto Rico (Erdsman 1984; Lee et al 1983).

Means of Introduction: This species has been an important sport fish for many years and as such has been stocked widely in areas where it is nonindigenous. Intentional stocking for sportfishing.

Status: Established in most locations.  Expanding its range in inland locations in the Great Lakes basin.

Impact of Introduction: Introduced bass usually affect populations of small native fishes through predation, sometimes resulting in the decline or extinction of such species (Minckley 1973). Species that have suffered such effects include relict dace Relictus solitarius, Clover Valley speckled dace Rhinichthys osculus oligoporus, Independence Valley tui chub Gila bicolor lethoporus (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985b), a distinct population of Gila chub G. intermedia, Monkey Spring pupfish Cyprinodon sp. (Minckley 1973), White River springfish Crenichthys baileyi, Pahranagat roundtail chub Gila robusta jordani (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985b), Owens pupfish Cyprinodon radiosus (Miller and Pister 1971), wild brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis (Boucher 2003), and White River spinedace Lepidomeda albivallis (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994e). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) speculated that introduced Largemouth Bass may have contributed to the demise of an isolated population of trout-perch Percopsis omiscomaycus in the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland. Introduced predatory centrarchids are likely responsible for the decline of native ranid frogs in California, California tiger salamander Ambystoma californiense populations (Hayes and Jennings 1986; Dill and Cordone 1997), and the Chiricahua leopard frog Rana chiricahuensis in southeastern Arizona (Rosen et al. 1995). In Squaw Creek Reservoir in northcentral Texas, introduced Florida largemouth intergrade with native northern largemouth (Whitmore and Hellier 1988). Nonnative predators, including Largemouth 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 Largemouth Bass, along with other introduced piscivores, reduced the richness of native minnow communities in Adirondack lakes (Findlay et al. 2000).

Remarks: This account includes introductions of both subspecies M. s. salmoides, the northern Largemouth Bass, and M. s. floridanus, the Florida Largemouth Bass. For instance, both subspecies have been introduced into Nevada (Deacon and Williams 1984). 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. Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) reported the largemouth as introduced into the Roanoke drainage in Virginia. Recently prehistoric bones of M. salmoides were discovered near the Roanoke River in Roanoke, Virginia, indicating that the species is native there (Jenkins, personal communication).

Introduced Florida Largemouth Bass are known to hybridize with native populations of northern Largemouth Bass (Whitmore and Hellier 1988), with introgression of Florida bass genes into populations occurring rapidly (Gelwick et al. 1995) and dispersing away from original introduction/stocking sites (Ray et al. 2012).

References: (click for full references)

Anonymous 2001. Oregon's Warm Water Fishing with Public Access. [online]. URL at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/warm_water_fishing/index.asp.

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

Behnke, R.J. and R.M. Wetzel. 1960. A preliminary list of the fishes found in the fresh waters of Connecticut. Copeia 2:141-143.

Behnke, R.J. and D.E. Benson. 1980. Endangered and threatened fishes of the upper Colorado River basin. Bulletin 503A, Cooperative Extension Service, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO.

Bond, C.E. 1994. Keys to Oregon freshwater fishes. Oregon State University Bookstores, Corvallis, OR.

Boucher, D. 2003. Illegal fish stockings threaten Maine lakes and rivers. Available online at URL http://www.state.me.us

Bradley, W.G., and J.E. Deacon. 1967. The biotic communities of southern Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 13, Part 4. 201-273.

Brock, V. E. 1960. The introduction of aquatic animals into Hawaiian waters. Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie 45(4):463-480.

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

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.

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.

Erdsman, D.S. 1984. Exotic fishes in Puerto Rico. 162-176 in W.R. Courtenay, Jr. and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. eds. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. John Hopkins. Baltimore and London.

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

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

Ferguson, T.B. 1876. Report of the Commissioners of Fisheries of Maryland to the General Assembly. January 1, 1876. John F Wiley Annapolis, MD.

Findlay, C.S., D.G. Bert, and L. Zheng. 2000. Effect of introduced piscivores on native minnow communities in Adirondack lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 57:570-580. http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/f99-276

Gelwick, F.P., E.R. Gilliland, and W.J. Matthews. 1995. Introgression of the Florida largemouth bass genome into stream populations of northern largemouth bass in Oklahoma. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 124(4):550-560.

Hartel, K. 1992. Non-native fishes known from Massachusetts freshwaters. Occasional Reports of the MCZ Fish Department 1992(2):1-9.

Hartel, K.E., D.B. Halliwell, and A.E. Launer. 2002. Inland fishes of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, MA.

Hayes, M.P., and M.R. Jennings. 1986. Decline of ranid frog species in western North America: are bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) responsible? Journal of Herpetology 20(4):490-509.

Hendrickson, D.A., W.L. Minckley, R.R. Miller, D.J. Seibert, and P.H. Minckley. 1980. Fishes of the Río Yaqui basin, México and United States. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 15(3):65-106.

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.

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.

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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.

Linder, A. D. 1963. Idaho's Alien Fishes. TEBIWA, 6(2), 12-15.

Logan, D., E.L. Bibles, and D.F. Markle. 1996. Recent collections of continental exotic aquarium fishes in Oregon and thermal tolerance of Misgurnus anguillicaudatus and Piaractus brachypomus. California Fish and Game 82(2): 66-80.

MacCrimmon, H.R., and W.H. Robbins. 1975. Distribution of black basses in North America. 56-66 in R.H. Stroud, and H. Clepper, eds. Black bass biology and management. Sport Fishing Institute, Washington, D.C.

Maciolek, J. A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. 131-161 in W. R. Courtenay, Jr., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr., editors. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Mallard, B. 2003. Invasive species: Life after Sebago. Kennebec Journal. August 27.

Matern, S.A., P.B. Moyle, and L.C. Pierce. 2002. Native and alien fishes in a California estuarine marsh: twenty-one years of changing assemblages. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131: 797-816.

Menhinick, E.F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, NC.

Miller, R.R. and C.H. Lowe. 1967. Part 2. Fishes of Arizona. 133-151 in C.H. Lowe, ed. The vertebrates of Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ.

Miller, R.R., and E.P. Pister. 1971. Management of the Owens pupfish, Cyprinodon radiosus, in Mono County, California. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 100(3):502-509.

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

Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 2011. Field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Peterson Field Guides series. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA.

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.

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Ray, J.W., M. Husemann, R.S. King, and P.D. Danely. 2012. Genetic analyses reveal dispersal of Florida bass haplotypes from reservoirs to rivers in central Texas. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141(5):1269-1273.

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

Tyus, H.M., B.D. Burdick, R.A. Valdez, C.M. Haynes, T.A. Lytle, and C.R. Berry. 1982. Fishes of the upper Colorado River basin: distribution, abundance, and status. 12-70 in W.H. Miller, H.M. Tyus, and C.A. Carlson, eds. Fishes of the upper Colorado River system: present and future. Western Division, American Fisheries Society.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1985. Recovery plan for the Pahranagat roundtail chub, Gila robusta jordani. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. White River spinedace, Lepidomeda albivallis, recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.

Whitmore, D.H. and T.R. Hellier. 1988. Natural hybridization between largemouth and smallmouth bass (Micropterus). Copeia 1988(2):493-396.

Whittier, T.R., D.B. Halliwell and R.A. Daniels. 2000. Distributions of lake fishes in the Northeast - II. The minnows (Cyprinidae). Northeastern Naturalist. 7(2): 3- 131-156.

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Other Resources:
Distribution in Illinois - ILNHS

Micropterus salmoides (Global Invasive Species Database)

FishBase Fact Sheet

Author: Pam Fuller and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/23/2015

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller and Matt Neilson. 2017. Micropterus salmoides. USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL.
https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=401 Revision Date: 7/23/2015

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2017]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/28/2017].

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