Florida, Northern, and Hybrid Largemouth Bass Feeding Characteristics in Aquilla Lake, Texas

Food habits, prey-size, and the occurrence of food in the stomachs were examined at various water temperatures among 1,152 Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoidesfloridanus), northern largemouth bass (M. s. salmoides), and intergrade hybrids between the 2 subspecies in Aquilla Lake, Texas. Dietary composition, prey-size consumed, and the frequency of food items in the stomach were similar among the largemouth bass subspecies and their intergrade hybrid at temperatures between 80 and 31 0 C. A higher proportion of insects occurred in the diet of smaller (151-253 mm TL) largemouth bass compared to larger (≥254 mm TL) fish. When forage fish were consumed by largemouth bass, positive prey-size selection was evident. These size-dependent feeding differences conferred a foraging disadvantage to age-1 and younger resident-hatched Florida largemouth bass.

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