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Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

White Bass - Morone chrysops

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Exotic Species (not native to Montana)

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 4


 

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General Description
The white bass is an introduced, recent, and infrequent resident of Montana found only in the Missouri River below Fort Peck Dam and the very lower end of the Yellowstone River. These fish are upstream migrants from Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota where they were stocked. They are characterized by a spiny dorsal fin and horizontal stripes. They are spring, broadcast spawners, seldom exceed 1 pound in weight, and of little consequence in Montana fishery management. In other states they are important game fish.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Silvery with six to nine dark, narrow stripes on side. Eye tinted with yellow.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Migration
Commonly a large spawning migration into tributary streams.

Habitat
Open surface waters of lakes, reservoir,and pools in streams. Avoid turbid water and is most often found over firm sandy or rocky bottom. Spawns over gravelly or rocky bottom on lake shoals or tributary streams.

Food Habits
Young eat small crustaceans and insect larvae. Adults are largely fisheaters with aquatic insects and crustaceans also taken.

Ecology
Schooling Species.

Reproductive Characteristics
Spawns May - June over a period of 5-10 days at 58-70 degrees F. Spawns in schools. Eggs broadcast and hatch in 46 hours at 60 degrees F. No parental care. Sexually mature in about 3 years in lake Erie.

References
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Citation for data on this website:
White Bass — Morone chrysops.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AFCQA01020
 
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