Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 48: 72–78. December 2016


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society, 2016. Used by permission.


Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) have been introduced across Nebraska into a variety of waterbodies. However, an estimate of smallmouth bass growth and mortality in Nebraska waters has not been produced. The objectives of this study were to use historic sampling data to describe the growth of smallmouth bass in Nebraska lakes in relation to other regional models, growth among waterbody types (reservoirs, Interstate 80 [I-80] lakes, and rivers), estimates of age at quality, preferred, and memorable lengths, and mortality for Nebraska smallmouth bass populations. Mean length ± SE of Nebraska smallmouth bass at age 7 was 383 ± 21 mm, which is similar to national and regional values. Mean lengths at age of smallmouth bass in I-80 lakes and reservoirs were similar, but lengths were larger in rivers than in I-80 lakes and reservoirs at ages 3–5. Mean total annual mortality measured 0.41 (± 0.06 SE). These growth and mortality rates allow biologists to set appropriate management objectives and assess local sampling results with proper perspectives.