Largemouth Bass - Micropterus salmoides

Largemouth Bass - Bill Byrne, MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Habitat requirements and life history: The largemouth bass was introduced to Massachusetts from New York and other states in the 19th century and is probably the state's most common gamefish. The largemouth bass is also the largest sunfish (4.7-38.2 inches). It prefers mud, or sand-bottomed ponds, lakes and slow-moving rivers with lots of aquatic vegetation and overhead cover. The largemouth bass eats fishes, frogs, snakes, small ducklings and almost anything alive that will fit into their mouths. They spawn in May. The males excavate big, platter-like nests in shallow water near shore and entice females to lay their eggs. The males fertilize, guard and fan the eggs until they hatch. (Sources: Freshwater Fishes of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, & Delaware, Massachusetts Wildlife, No. 2, 2000, Special Fishing Issue and AMC Guide to Freshwater Fishing in New England)

Total length: 10-16 inches (larger individuals fairly common).
Pollution tolerance (US EPA): Intermediate tolerance
Classification: Macrohabitat generalist

Number of fish found during 1954 & 2001 Fish Surveys*

Location No. of Fish 1954 No. of Fish 2001
Assabet River 7 153
Assabet Brook   5
Cold Harbor Brook   3
Elizabeth Brook   1
Forth Meadow Brook   2
Nashoba Brook 4  
North Brook   1
Spencer Brook 1  
UNT Assabet River   1
Total 12 166

*Sources:
DFW. 2001. Assabet Watershed Fish Survey. Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), Westborough, MA.

Schlotterbeck, L.C. and W.A. Tompkins. 1954. "A Fisheries Investigation of the Merrimack and Ipswich River Drainages." Bureau of Wildlife Research and Management, Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.