Spotted Bass: Photo by ERIC ENGBRETSON
The Spotted bass (Kentucky bass) (Micropterus punctulatus) is a freshwater fish belonging to the Perch family. In Kansas it is native to many eastern streams, especially those streams in the Flint Hills with limestone bottoms that also have some aquatic vegetation. The male will form a nest by sweeping silt from the bottom for the female’s eggs that he then guards. Spotted bass consume other small fish, crayfish and aquatic insects. It spawns in smaller tributaries of larger streams and reservoirs in early spring. It resembles the Largemouth bass in general appearance and coloration but with the presence of irregular spots along the lateral line. There are also small black spots along the belly. By comparison, the white bass has a more linear lateral line. Also the Spotted bass has a smaller mouth that extends just below the eye.