Micropterus salmoides

Identification Tips:

• Green to olive back, cream or yellowish belly,
• Ragged dark band extending from gill cover to tail.
• Mouth: Large with upper jaw extending behind eye.
• Can reach 50 cm in length, commonly 30 cm

• Dorsal fin: 10 spines: 10; 11-14 soft rays
• Anal fin; 3 spines, 10-12 soft rays
• Caudal fin: 17 rays

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Introduced SpeciesNot AssessedNoneG5

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/

Life History:

• A voracious predator and prized game fish introduced to British Columbia.
• Has caused declines and extinctions of small fish, frogs and even waterfowl in other areas where it has been introduced.
• Very little information exists on its impact in BC.
• Spawn during summer in large saucer shaped nests constructed of gravel or sand in shallow water .
• Male defends the nest (see photo).
• Preyed upon by Mink, Otter, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, Belted Kingfisher, and other Largemouth Bass


• Found in lakes, ponds, swamps and slow moving rivers and streams.
• Prefers warm, quiet, clear water with abundant aquatic vegetation.
• Tolerates very warm water (> 30 C)


British Columbia
• Found in most warmer waters of Fraser Valley. Also in Okanagan, Arrow Lakes and Kootenays.

• Native to eastern North America from Manitoba to Nova Scotia and south to Florida and northern Mexico.
• Widely introduced globally, including western North America, Japan, Central America, southern Africa, Europe.

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.