Micropterus dolomieu, the Smallmouth Bass, is one of nature’s indicator species, thriving well in clean clear water.  In the southern states, these carnivorous fish continually feed on neighboring fish, bottom dwelling crayfish and a wide variety of insects.  Unlike the Largemouth Bass that tolerates warmer pond waters, the Smallmouth prefers cooler waters and is more likely to be angled out of fresh water streams and rivers.  Males generally outweigh their female counterparts, which comes in handy as they are the guardians of the family nest.  Nesting spots are selected by the males who prefer shallow waters with some form of substrate.  Ideal nesting sites are somewhat obscured from view by underwater vegetation, sticks, logs or other materials.  Creatures of habit, the males often build their nest in close proximity to the previous year’s nest.  Once a female has been lured to the nest,  the pair spawn several times above the nest over a period of several hours.  Females leave the nuptial bed and often seek other males with which to breed.  Males often  accept multiple females and eggs in a single nest.  Unlike other members of the animal kingdom, the males are the sole guardians of the developing brood and remain with the fry until they are ready to leave the nest.  Healthy Smallmouth Bass may live 15 years or more.

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