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Smallmouth bass
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Smallmouth bass

The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) grows to 27 inches (69 cm) in size, with the upper jaw not extending beyond the eye. There is a series of dark bars on the sides. It is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, and has been introduced throughout most of North America and even into other continents. It is found only in clear water of any cool or warm temperature. The female can lay up to 21,000 eggs which are guarded by the male in his nest. Young individuals feed on insects, and as adults they feed on crustaceans and fish. Because they are intolerant of any type of pollution, they are a good natural indicator of a healthy environment.

It is one of the group of freshwater fishes that are collectively called the black basses.