Largemouth Bass Giving Birth

How do Largemouth bass give birth?


Well we talk about Largemouth Bass here but usually involving the fishing of. But hey, if we can find the answers we don't mind getting them to you.

The simple answer is they lay eggs.

The details follow.

Females normally release half of their eggs during the first spawn and the second half during their second spawn. A third spawn is normally common up to one month later. The average number a female can lay is up to 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight, but there has been a report of as many as 80,000! Normally larger fish have larger eggs and therefore the fry are much larger, but because of that eggs laid per pound is much smaller. Usually the weight of the females eggs are 10% more than her body weight. During spawning season most males will usually go without food and many males die due to their poor body condition prior to the season.

Depending on water temperature and how well the male diverts silt and guards the nest the eggs will usually hatch within three to four days in the southern United States. The male will continue to protect the fry until they eventually disperse, which usually takes about two weeks or more depending on the temperature of the water. Unfortunately, most nests are lost to predation of Sun Fish before the eggs are even able to hatch.

The success of the nest is also reduced if the temperature of water drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens the male will usually leave the nest and without any parental care the eggs will not hatch and the number of predators increase. After the fry have hatched and have completely developed they remain together in a school guarded by the male anywhere between two to seven days. From this point forward they eat zooplankton and gradually move on to insects and fish larvae when they have grown to about 2 inches long.

For more information about the lifecycle of largemouth bass go to http://aqua.ucdavis.edu/DatabaseRoot/pdf/200FS.PDF

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