Freshwater Drum - Aplodinotus grunniens
FWP Conservation Tier
Only one member of the drum family is found in Montana--the freshwater drum. This species is native to larger streams and reservoirs in the plains region of our eastern drainages. Drum are so named because they can produce sound by "drumming" muscles against their gas bladders. Drum are spring broadcast spawners, but unlike other Montana fish their eggs are buoyant. Drum are not a sport fish in Montana and are taken commercially elsewhere. Drum eat fish, insects, clams and snails.
Silvery with a pearl-gray back. This is the only Montana fish in which the lateral line extends onto the tail.
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
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Deep pools of large streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Prefers clean bottoms and moderate turbidity. Spawning has been observed to take place in lakes some distance from shore.
Eats a variety of aquatic invertebrates but snails and small clams are the predominant foods.
Spawns May - June at 65 - 70 degrees F. Spawns in schools near surface of water. Hatching time short. Fry float near surface for a time, then seek the bottom where water is deep.
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