Differences in Growth Rate between Sexes of Florida Largemouth Bass

Differences in growth rates between sexes were compared for Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) from 5 north-central Florida lakes using lengths back-calculated for the most recently formed annulus on otoliths. Growing rates of Ages 1-6 fish differed between sexes in all lakes. Males were larger than females before Age 1 in 3 of the 5 populations, but by Age 2 females were larger than males in all lakes. Female fish were larger than male fish of the same age when the females attained total lengths of from 243 to 292 mm. Based on the samples collected, female Florida largemouth bass lived longer and attained larger sizes than males. Similar trends have been shown for several populations of northern largemouth bass (M. s. salmoides) and for comparisons of the growth rates of the 2 largemouth bass subspecies. We recommend consideration of sex differences in evaluations of growth rate of Florida largemouth bass.

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