White Bass - Morone chrysops


white bass
Duane Raver/USFWS
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Oklahoma Distribution – Although native to Oklahoma, white bass were not found in great numbers until large reservoirs were constructed. Now they are found statewide.

Habitat – These fish usually travel in large schools. Adults prefer open water over sandy shoals during the day and shallows at night.

Natural Food Sources – Shad, minnows, crustaceans and insects.

Spawning – White bass are very prolific. One female can produce up to one million eggs. Reproductive activities are triggered by water temperatures of 50 to 55 degree F. Spawning is at  random over weeds, debris and rocks. When tributary streams are available, this species prefers upstream migration for spawning. No parental care is provided to eggs or young.

Facts – The white bass is Oklahoma's state fish. An estimated one and a half million pounds of white bass are harvested annually from Oklahoma waters by sport fishermen. Due to their short life span and high reproductive capacity, no creel limits are imposed on some lakes. Anglers learn to watch for circling and diving gulls and/or surface disturbances as sure signs of schooling shad. where there are shad, white bass are usually nearby.