White Bass (Morone chrysops)

A medium-sized white fish with small dark broken lines on its sides.

(c) MN DNR, C. Iverson

Fish of the Mississippi River

Introduction

When baitfish leap and gulls divebomb the water, a school of white bass may be the likely cause as they chase baitfish to the water's surface. These silvery aggressive feeders travel in large schools, often near the surface. In rivers, small gizzard shad are a preferred food but white bass also feed on crustaceans, aquatic insects, and other small fish.

White bass thrive in the open waters of large lakes and reservoirs but avoid areas of continuous turbidity. White bass require little management beyond habitat protection to thrive and aren't introduced into Minnesota waters where they don't already occur.

Fascinating Facts

  • White bass are true bass (temperate bass) and are more closely related to ocean-dwelling striped bass than to largemouth and smallmouth bass (the latter are members of the sunfish family).
  • White bass are the state fish of Oklahoma where 1.5 million pounds are harvested annually.
  • White bass are prodigious breeders - single females can produce nearly 1 million eggs. They do not defend spawning areas, make nests or guard their eggs or young.

Identification

Key ID Features: White bass are whitish silver in color with 6-8 black lateral stripes along its deep sides. Its dorsal fin is distinctly split into two sections. Its mouth has an underbite. White bass is a midsized sport fish, averaging 18 inches in length.
Present in Park: Yes.
Habitat: Large lakes, rivers and impoundments with relatively clear water
MN Status: Sport fish. White bass require little management beyond habitat protection and aren't introduced into waters where they don't already occur.

For Further Reading

Last updated: April 13, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Phone:

(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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