Find yellow bass information at Animal Diversity Web
1.16 kg (high)
46 cm (high); avg. 23.90 cm
(18.11 in; avg. 9.41 in)
Yellow bass are yellowish-silver with 7 black or brown stripes on the top and middle of their body that run from their head to tail. The stripes lower on their bodies are broken or jagged in the middle. Their backs are olive green or olive gray, and they are white or yellow underneath. Some of their fins are dark or dusky and others are clear or white. They have yellow eyes, and no teeth or tongue. Their bodies are thin from side to side but wide from top to bottom.
Yellow bass live in waters that drain into Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basins from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico. They are native to parts of Oklahoma and Texas, and are found east through the middle of Tennessee. Yellow bass have been introduced in other places like Arizona.
Yellow bass live in quiet pools, dams, or slow-moving waters that are part of streams, lakes, and man-made water reservoirs. They prefer clear water with few plants but lots of carp. They live on or close to the bottom of lakes and rivers.
Eggs take 4 to 6 days to hatch after they are fertilized. They hatch at 21°C. Within 4 days, the young fish absorb their yolk sacs. They gather in groups called schools, and grow quickly. In a lake in Tennessee, they got to be almost 20 cm long in the first year.
Yellow bass are able to release and fertilize eggs when they are 2 to 4 years old, depending on where they live. Males often mature when they are 2 to 3 years old, and females usually mature when they are 3 to 4 years old. Females have more than one set of eggs in the same season. Yellow bass scatter their eggs in late April to early June after the water gets to be 14.5°C to 26°C. Females release groups of eggs into the water which males fertilize. This process is called spawning.
Yellow bass breed once yearly.
Spawning occurs from late April to early June.
4 to 6 days
3 to 4 years; avg. 3 years
2 to 3 years; avg. 3 years
Yellow bass spawn once per year in streams or lakes between late April and early June. Females lay on their right sides over gravel or rocks that are from 0.6 to 0.9 m deep and release their eggs. Males swim nearby and fertilize the eggs as they are released.
Yellow bass eggs stick to plants or rocks. Parents don't care for the eggs after they are released and fertilized.
7 years (high)
Yellow bass can live for up to 7 years in the wild.
Yellow bass form groups called schools. They feed near the surface or at middle depths in lakes and rivers. They might move from lakes or larger parts of rivers into smaller, shallower streams in order to release and fertilize their eggs. They feed at dusk and dawn.
Scientists don't know the size or characteristics of the home range of yellow bass.
Bass use sight, hearing, chemical signals to understand their environment. Their main sense organ is their lateral line, which runs from their head to tail and also helps them sense vibrations..
Yellow bass eat mainly small animals without vertebrae that they find near the surface of the water or in middle depths. Young yellow bass usually eat zooplankton, small crustaceans, and insects. The size of prey they can eat usually gets bigger as yellow bass grow. Adult yellow bass eat fish, including smaller yellow bass. Yellow bass hunt at dusk and at dawn.
Yellow bass are both predators and prey in their ecosystem and also get infected with many parasites. They get infected by flatworms or flukes called Onchocleidus interruptus, Allacanthochasmus artus, Allacanthochasmus varius, Azygia angusticauda, Clinostomum complanatum, Diplostomulum, Neochasmus umbellus, Posthodiplostomum minimum, and Tetracotyle. They get roundworms called Camallanus oxycephalus, Camallanus, Contracaecum spiculigerum, Spinitectus gracilis, and Leptorhynchoides thecatus. They get tapeworms called Proteocephalus ambloplitis, Proteocephalus, and Trypanorhyncha. They also get thorny-headed worms and gill lice.
There are no known adverse effects of yellow bass on humans.
Yellow bass have been hunted by humans for entertainment and food since the 1800's.
Yellow bass are listed as a species of special concern by Minnesota's List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern Species.
Eric Walberg, Minnesota State University Mankato
Jeremy Wright, University of Michigan
Robert Sorensen, Minnesota State University Mankato
Gail McCormick, Special Projects
Catherine Kent, Special Projects
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