The white bass
or sand bass
(MoroneIt is the state fish of Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...
White bass are distributed widely across the United States, particularly in the midwest. They are very abundant in Pennsylvania and the area around Lake Erie. Some native ranges of the white bass are the Arkansas River, Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio, and Lake Poinsett in South Dakota White bass have also been found in rivers that flow to the Mississippi. Native to many northern habitats, they have been introduced in many different waters around the United States, particularly in southern locations. They were also successfully introduced to Manitoba starting in the 1960's, where they have gained importance as a sport fish.
The species' main color is silver-white to pale green. Its back is dark, with white sides and belly, and with narrow dark stripes running lengthwise on the sides. It has large, rough scales and two dorsal fins. Because the vertebrae don't extend into the tail, the white bass has what is called a homocercal tail
. The body is deep and compressed laterally. The white bass is a deep-bodied
fish with a compressed
body and it has two dorsal fins. The more anterior dorsal fin is much harder and appears to have spines on them. Although these are not true spines, this type of fin is called a spinous ray
. The more posterior of the two dorsal fins is much softer, and is thus called a soft-ray
. The average adult fish ranges from 15 to 20 inches in length, and usually weighs from 2 to 4 pounds
The pound or pound-mass is a unit of mass used in the Imperial, United States customary and other systems of measurement...
, though larger ones are sometimes taken. Conventional panfish
A panfish, also spelled pan-fish or pan fish, is an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan. The term is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit in a pan, but is large enough to be legal. However its definition and usage varies with...
Fishing tackle, is a general term that refers to the equipment used by fishermen when fishing. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle...
or fly fishing
Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial 'fly' is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or 'lure' requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting...
tackle is used in angling
Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle" . The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. The hook itself...
the white bass. The fish tend to move in schools
Swarm behaviour, or swarming, is a collective behaviour exhibited by animals of similar size which aggregate together, perhaps milling about the same spot or perhaps moving en masse or migrating in some direction. As a term, swarming is applied particularly to insects, but can also be applied to...
and prefer to swim in clear water. Because the dorsal and ventral portions of the its tail angle inward toward a point to create a clear angle, the tail is said to be notched
White bass are carnivores. They have four main taxa in their diet: calanoid copepods
Calanoida is an order of copepods, a kind of zooplankton. They include around 40 families with about 1800 species of both marine and freshwater copepods. Calanoid copepods are dominant in the plankton in many parts of the world's oceans, making up 55%–95% of plankton samples...
, cyclopoid copepods
Cyclopoida is an order of small crustaceans from the subclass Copepoda. Like many other copepods, members of Cyclopoida are small, planktonic animals living both in the sea and in freshwater habitats. They are capable of rapid movement...
Daphnia are small, planktonic crustaceans, between 0.2 and 5 mm in length. Daphnia are members of the order Cladocera, and are one of the several small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas because of their saltatory swimming style...
, and leptodora
Leptodora is a genus containing two species of large, nearly transparent predatory water fleas. They grow up to long, with two large antennae used for swimming and a single compound eye. The legs are used to catch other copepods that it comes into contact with by chance...
. They are visual feeders. When not frightened, they will bite readily at live bait
Bait is any substance used to attract prey, e.g. in a mousetrap.-In Australia:Baiting in Australia refers to specific campaigns to control foxes, wild dogs and dingos by poisoning in areas where they are a problem...
such as worms
Earthworm is the common name for the largest members of Oligochaeta in the phylum Annelida. In classical systems they were placed in the order Opisthopora, on the basis of the male pores opening posterior to the female pores, even though the internal male segments are anterior to the female...
Leuciscinae, commonly known as true minnows, are a subfamily of small fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae.However, the term minnow is also used as an unspecific term for tiny freshwater and saltwater fish, especially those used as fishing bait....
s. Only the largest fish will feed on other fish, and as the summer season progresses, there is an overall trend towards eating fewer fish. Fish that are able to accumulate lipids over the summer are better able to survive cold winters. When looking at midwestern white bass, particularly in South Dakota, diet overlap occurs between the bass and the walleye. As seasons progress through the summer and fall, the amount of diet overlap decreases as a result of both fish increasing in length.
White bass are found in deep, clears waters. White bass often travel in schools, chasing baitfish in the open waters of lakes and large rivers. They inhabit large reservoirs and rivers. When mating in the spring, they are more often found in shallow rivers, creeks, and streams. White bass are found in high densities in the upstream segment of rivers. This portion of the river becomes the most degraded, as there are a number of different kinds of fish that live in this segment as well.
The spawning season for the white bass is mid-March to late May. The optimal water temperatures are 12 to 20 degrees Celsius. They are known to find their home spawning ground even if it's moved to a different part of the same lake. They like to spawn
Spawn refers to the eggs and sperm released or deposited, usually into water, by aquatic animals. As a verb, spawn refers to the process of releasing the eggs and sperm, also called spawning...
in moving water in a tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...
stream, but they will spawn in windswept lake shores. They spawn during daylight. Females release 242,000 to 933,000 eggs which stick to the surface of objects. Eggs are laid in clear, relatively shallow water on plants, submerged logs, gravel, or rocks. The parents move to deeper water and do not care for the young fish. The young fish live in shallow water for a while until they move to deeper water.
When trying to find a female with whom to mate, males will bump against a female's abdominal area. The female will then rise closer to the surface and begin spinning and releasing eggs. Several males who have stayed in the area will be able to fertilize the eggs the female releases.
Human importance and conservation
Fishermen have been known to fish from the shore, wade into rivers, or use small boats when it is possible. The best lures and baits to use include live minnows as well as different colored twister tails. There is no daily bag or size limit for the white bass , but in certain states white bass caught by angling can not be sold.