Albert R. Mann Library
The small mouthed black bass

Smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, are one of New York State’s most important gamefish, famous for their fighting ability. They are not true bass, but members of the sunfish family, as are their cousins, the largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides. Smallmouth bass first moved into central New York from their native Great Lakes in 1825, via the newly constructed Erie Canal system. Smallmouth bass prefer cool, clear water areas of lakes, or flowing streams. Although they are less tolerant of warm temperatures and turbid water than largemouth bass, they are more adaptable than trout, and have been widely introduced as gamefish into waters too compromised to support trout.