Movement dynamics of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in a large river-tributary system

Megan K. Schall, Timothy Wertz, Geoffrey D. Smith, Vicki S. Blazer, Tyler Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu Lacepède, movement dynamics were investigated in a connected mainstem river-tributary system. Smallmouth bass moved large distances annually (n = 84 fish, average = 24.6 ± 25.9 km, range = 0.03 to 118 km) and had three peak movement periods (pre-spawn, post-spawn and overwintering). Movement into and out of tributaries was common, but the movement between mainstem river and tributary habitats varied among tagging locations and season. In general, a large proportion of fish that were tagged in tributaries moved out of the tributaries after spawning (22/30 fish). Because of the importance of fish movement patterns on population dynamics, the observed individual variability in movement, quantified using a hierarchical model, and the potential for long-distance movements are important considerations for smallmouth bass conservation and management. In addition, mainstem river-tributary connectivity appears to play an important role for smallmouth bass during key life history events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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