Distribution and Habitat Selection of Florida and Northern Largemouth Bass in Lake Tawakoni, Texas

An ultrasonic-telemetry study was conducted to compare spatial and temporal distribution and habitat use of Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus, FLMB) and northern largemouth bass (M. s. salmoides, NLMB). Twentyfour largemouth bass (12 FLMB and 12 NLMB) were implanted with ultrasonic transmitters and released in Waco Bay, a 1,215-ha major arm of Lake Tawakoni, Texas. Eleven FLMB and 10 NLMB were located at least once during the year-long study period (range 1-24). Average 75% and 95% contour level home ranges for FLMB were 19.0 and 44.2 ha, respectively; for NLMB they were 21.5 and 66.1 ha, respectively. Aquatic vegetation, pier/boathouse, brushy shoreline, and clean shoreline were the most important habitat types selected by both subspecies. Habitat overlap was evident between the subspecies. Both inhabited relatively shallow water, most in water ≤2.1 m deep. However, FLMB were located in deeper water further from shore than were NLMB. FLMB demonstrated a distinct movement toward shallower water with increasing water temperature. No similar movement pattern was observed for NLMB. A general movement toward shore was observed for both subspecies as water temperatures increased.

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