Today’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Smallmouth Bass are members of the Sunfish Family which also includes Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Largemouth Bass, Rock Bass and Crappie. A Smallmouth Bass has red eyes, a jaw that does not extend beyond the eye, vertical bars on the body, a laterally compressed body and dorsal fins that are joined to appear as one. The native range of the Smallmouth Bass is the waters of eastern and central North America. Within Canada, this fish is native to the Great Lakes – St Lawrence system. This Smallmouth Bass is a very popular sportfish and has been introduced to many places outside its native range. This has led to its proliferation as an invasive species in places such as British Columbia. The Smallmouth Bass prefers a habitat consisting of cold water found near shoals or submerged logs. They prefer sandy or rocky bottoms in relatively shallow waters. They do not compete with a similar species, Largemouth Bass, because Largemouth Bass prefer grassy areas with large amounts of aquatic vegetation. Smallmouth Bass are top predators. Their typical prey includes other fish, crayfish, insects, frogs, tadpoles, and plants. The oldest Smallmouth Bass ever reported was 26 years old. At Murphys Point Provincial Park, Smallmouth Bass are commonly found in Big Rideau Lake and Loon Lake.
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