Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Tom Pettengill
Photo Copyright Tom Pettengill

The smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, is a popular sport fish that can tolerate cooler water temperatures than can the largemouth bass. Consequently, it has been introduced throughout Utah, and is now established in Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Mantua Reservoir, Newton Reservoir, Hyrum Reservoir, Starvation Reservoir, Lake Powell, and many other areas of the state. The smallmouth bass is not native to Utah, but rather to much of central and eastern North America.

Smallmouth bass primarily eat fish, but amphibians and a variety of invertebrates, including crayfish and insects, are also consumed. The species spawns in late spring and early summer over nests dug my males in gravel or sand substrate. Males guard the eggs, which hatch in three to ten days. After hatching, fry may be guarded by males for up to one month. The smallmouth bass prefers clear, cool (not cold), rocky areas of lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.