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Strains of Smallmouth bass


MoCarp

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in Oklahoma and parts of NW Arkansas and SW Missouri a "Neosho Strain" of smallmouth bass lives

I have caught many of them out of the elk river drainage as they are the dominate strain

longer and leaner they weight less than a compairable northern strain at the same length

the maxila(sp?) runs well past the eye more like a largemouth and the fish seem splotcher in color , less tiger striped that other smallie strains--world record is under 3 pounds--yet before I knew what they where I have caught and released fish that size in Big Sugar and shoal Creek

Any one else fish for these?

www.fisheries.org/html/publications/catbooks/bb.shtml - 112k

Molecular and Morphological Analyses of the Black Basses: Implications for Taxonomy and Conservation (Pages 291–322)

Todd W. Kassler, Jeffrey B. Koppelman, Thomas J. Near, Casey B. Dillman, Jeffrey M. Levengood, David Swofford, Jeffrey L. VanOrman, Julie E. Claussen, and David P. Philipp

Taxonomists currently recognize seven species and three subspecies in the genus Micropterus. Based on variation in meristic characters, allozymes, and mtDNA, two subspecies are clearly distinct from one another and warrant

elevation to species status. Micropterus salmoides floridanus should now be recognized as the Florida bass M. floridanus, and M. salmoides salmoides as the largemouth bass M. salmoides. Although the Alabama spotted bass M. punctulatus henshalli is morphologically and genetically quite distinct from the northern spotted bass, a thorough

taxonomic assessment is still required prior to any revision. The status of a third subspecies, Neosho smallmouth bass M. dolomieu velox, was not investigated. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence variation indicate that the genus is represented by four lineages: (1) smallmouth bass M. dolomieu and spotted bass M. punctulatus; (2) largemouth bass M. salmoides, Florida bass M. floridanus, Suwannee bass M. notius, and Guadalupe bass M. treculi; (3) shoal bass M. cataractae; and (4) redeye bass M. coosae and Alabama spotted bass. It is likely that through either natural or human-induced changes, hybridization has occurred between the Alabama spotted bass and M. coosae and between M. punctulatus and M. treculi, which may have obscured the true phylogenetic affinities of these taxa. In response to this new information, management agencies need to alter their policy toward stocking non-native species and promoting stock transfers. Specifically, they should terminate Florida bass stocking programs outside of Florida.

MONKEYS? what monkeys?

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Mo. Wouldn't this be a good article to post in the topic Non-native fish topic?

I would rather be fishin'.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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From what I've been able to gather, the genetics of Ozark smallmouths are pretty confused. There was so much milk can stocking in the early 1900s that there are probably no pure strains of Neoshos left. The various river systems may have all had slightly different strains originally. If you look at the connections between river systems, you can see why this might be so. The Neoshos were native to rivers flowing into the Arkansas River, and rivers like the Mulberry and Big Piney in Arkansas may have had Neosho strain fish originally. And since the White River flows into the Arkansas or thereabouts where both come into the Mississippi, chances are the White River fish (including Current, Black, and Eleven Point) may have had fish similar to the Neoshos originally. I remember reading a genetic study somewhere that said that the fish in the streams flowing directly into the Mississippi in MO (the Meramec river system and smaller streams like Saline Creek) were a little different genetically from the fish in the rest of the Ozarks. And it's just possible that smallies were not even native to the rivers in MO that flow into the Missouri River, like the Gasconade and Osage river systems (including the Niangua and Pomme De Terre). It's been pretty well known that rock bass were not native to these streams.

As an artist, I've noticed that smallmouths on the Buffalo in AR look a little different than the Meramec River system smallies I'm used to catching. Maybe slightly different genetics?

The original native range of smallies was the Ohio and Tennessee river systems, the upper Mississippi river system, and the rivers flowing into the Great Lakes. The Ozarks was somewhat separate from all these areas. And there are differences between Great Lakes type fish and Tennessee/Ohio river system fish in general body shape. The Great Lakes type fish and the upper Mississippi fish are blockier and deeper through the body than Tennessee/Ohio fish, which tend to be pretty slender if they are river fish, and football shaped if they are reservoir fish. The Ozark fish in general look like Tennessee river fish rather than upper Mississippi fish, but they are a different strain with less potential to get really large. That's the reason why the top size of Ozark reservoir smallmouths seems to be about 7 pounds while fish in some of the Tennessee and Kentucky reservoirs, in the same latitude and with a similar growing season, have produced lots of fish bigger than that, including the world record. Since Neosho strain fish don't get very big, could it be that smallies all over the Ozarks are "contaminated" with Neosho genes?

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intersting--that could very well be true---but I think the neosho strain may be more heat tolerant--may give them an edge in our droughts--I wish a genetic biologist would do some work on the elk drainage

Mo

MONKEYS? what monkeys?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Going a little off topic here but does anyone else notice the difference in goggleyes caught in lakes and in small streams. To me the stream fish and their lake cousins could almost be considered different species. Anybody else have any thoughts on this.

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To the best of my knowledge they're all natives, which would make them all the same. The fact that they have taken so long to adapt to the lakes might indicate a little evolution I suppose, but not a different species.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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Going a little off topic here but does anyone else notice the difference in goggleyes caught in lakes and in small streams. To me the stream fish and their lake cousins could almost be considered different species. Anybody else have any thoughts on this.

Most fish will look different depending on where they are living, depending on what they are eating, cover and light conditions. Its crazy sometimes looking at fish that look nothing like each other but they are the same species. But they actually might be different species as Goggle-eyes in streams are usually Rock Bass Amploplites sp. but they are hardly found in lakes but you might find a Warmouth Lepomis gulosus in lakes which is also called a goggle-eye in these parts.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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Gavin is right, there are three different species, and they look considerably different. The northern rock bass is native only to the Meramec River system in MO, but was the species that was introduced into the Osage and Gasconade river systems (these rivers had no native goggle-eye) The Ozark bass is native to the White River system. The shadow bass is native to the rest of the Ozark streams. There has been some mixing in places as fish were stocked outside their native range, but not all that much. So, for instance if you fish Norfork Lake but do your stream fishing in the Spring River (not very far away from each other), the lake fish you catch are Ozark bass but the stream fish are shadow bass. But if you fish Norfork Lake and the North Fork River, fish from both places should be the same species.

Warmouth, by the way, were native but very rare over much of the Ozarks before the reservoirs were built, but have done well in the reservoirs. The book "The Fishes of Missouri" shows that they were commonly collected only from the Eleven Point, Current, Black, St. Francis, and Castor river systems, and shows them absent from the upper White River system. "Fishes of Arkansas" shows recent collections from all the big White River reservoirs, but none collected in the streams flowing into them except for the upper end of the White River itself.

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