Smallmouth Bass - Micropterus dolomieu

Smallmouth Bass - Photo credit: John Scarola

Life history and habitat requirements: The smallmouth bass are said to have been introduced to Massachusetts as game fish, brought to Flax Pond in Wareham by Samuel Tisdale in 1856. The population spread rapidly, competing with the native brook trout populations for cold-water habitat in larger streams. Largemouth bass, introduced some 40 years later, out-competed the smallmouth in most areas. Smallmouth bass prefer clear, cool lakes and larger streams, avoiding muddy and sluggish waters. Spawning occurs in late-spring. Like most sunfish, the male builds a rock-lined nest in waters from 2 to 20 ft deep and spawns with several females. Smallmouth diet is varied including aquatic invertebrates, small fish, and crayfish.

Total Length: 8-13 inches (largest recorded in Massachusetts 8.1 pounds)
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 13  
Nashoba Brook 32  
North Brook 1  
Spencer Brook 3  
Stirrup Brook 1  
Total 50 0

*Data 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.