Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Largemouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides

Largemouth bass have an elongated body that ranges from silvery-white to brassy green. Dark olive mottling on its dorsal surface provides camouflage. They are a fast-growing fish, reaching up to 16 inches in three years.

Range & Habitat

Their native range includes the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and the Mississippi River. However, because of its importance as a game fish they have been introduced to many other areas, including Mexico, Central and South America. Largemouth bass inhabit clear, vegetated lakes, ponds, swamps, and backwaters of pools, creeks, and rivers. They seek protective cover under logs, rocks, vegetation, and man-made structures. Although they prefer clear quiet water they survive quite well in a variety of habitats.

Conservation Status: Least Concern


In the Wild – zooplankton and insect larvae.

At the Zoo – small insects, algae, shrimp, bloodworms and commercial fish food.

Life Span

In the Wild: 16-20 years
In Human Care: 8-12 years+

Fun Facts about the Largemouth Bass

  •    Except for humans, adult largemouth bass are the top predators in the aquatic ecosystem.
  •  They are one of the top recreational species in the U.S.
  •  The oldest reported Largemouth bass is 23 years.
  •  The heaviest reported weight for a Largemouth bass is 22 lbs!
  •  The longest reported length is 38.2”


NatureServe. 2019. Micropterus salmoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T61265A58310038. on 27 May 2021.


Texas Parks & Wildlife (Ed.). (2021). Largemouth bass. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from


U.S. Department of the Interior (Ed.). (2021). Largemouth bass. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from


U.S. Fish & Wildlife (Ed.). (2021). NAS-Nonindigenous Aquatic Species. Retrieved May 27, 2021, from



Updated June 13, 2023
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