Distribution and Habitat Selection of Telemetered Northern and Florida Largemouth bass in 2 Small Texas Impoundments

Twelve adult fish, three each of northern and Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides and M. s. jloridanus) in each of 2 approximately 2-ha impoundments were implanted with ultrasonic transmitters and located over a period of 1 year to determine if distributional differences existed between the subspecies and to determine what factors might be responsible for any observed differences. Home range was beween 0.37 and 1.11 ha for all individuals. Average home range sizes were similar between subspecies and ponds. However, Florida bass generally made intensive use of small areas (i.e., usually <0.2 ha) within their home ranges while northern bass locations were more evenly distributed throughout their home ranges. Activity centers, within home ranges, rarely overlapped those of other tagged fish and seasonal shifts in their location were not apparent. Selection of water depths and type of cover was similar for both subspecies and reflected availability within the ponds. No consistent relationship was found between fish location and water temperature, dissolved oxygen or weather conditions. Except for the difference in size of intensively-utilized area, subspecies differences were less pronounced than differences between ponds. Differences between ponds appeared to be related to differences in water clarity, cover and forage availability.

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