The Big Mouth Bass of the Pacific Northwest
The Big Mouth Bass are very aggressive predators that are primarily a lake fish. The colors of the Big Mouth varies from dark green to pale green or olive. Their undersides are white to yellowish. The back and sides are usually very dark with a black band incorporating diamond shapes running from head to tail. This band is dark if the bass is in shallow water and exposed to sunlight. If it has been in deep water for a while it will be lighter in color.
They eat other fish but they are also opportunistic feeders that will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouth. They will also eat ducklings, snakes, lizards, crayfish, rats, mice, frogs and insects.
These bass spawn in the spring. The spawn is determined by water temperature. This tends to be 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. The males make a nest in the sand with their tails. The also will protect the nest and the hatchlings. The females lay the eggs and the males do everything else. The young bass will stay close to the male for about 1 month, with young males reaching maturity before the females.
Big Mouth Bass is a native fish species in eastern North America, but is an invasive species in BC. They are becoming a major problem in lakes and rivers throughout the province. This fish is to blame for declines and local extinctions of several small prey fish. As with all invasive species, care must be taken to avoid moving fish from one system to another. These fish are becoming well established on Vancouver Island. Please take caution to avoid transporting these bass into another system, Once in a system, they are very hard to near impossible to remove them.