Smallmouth Bass

Small Mouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu)

Photo courtesy of DAR


  • Elongated body, typically green in color with red eyes and dark brown stripes (CABI, 2019)
  • Average adult length is 30-50 cm (CABI, 2019)


  • Typically found in lakes and streams with rock or gravel bottoms (USFWS, 2019)
  • Prefers clear water with protective coverings (USFWS, 2019)

Impacts & Concern:

  • Reducing abundance and diversity of native fish populations through predation (CABI, 2019)
  • Indirectly altering planktonic and benthic communities (USFWS, 2019)


  • Initially introduced to Hawaiʻi in 1897, then again to Oʻahu in 1908 and to Kauai in 1911 (Mundy, 2005)
  • Introductions before 1953 failed (Fuller et al., 2019)
  • Introduced to Hawaiʻi from California in 1953 (Fuller et al., 2019)
  • Intentionally brought over for sportfishing, and became established in the Nuʻuanu Reservoir on Oʻahu (Fuller et al., 2019)

Distribution in Hawaii: (Fuller et al., 2019)

  • Kauai: Present
  • Oʻahu: Present
  • Molokai: Not documented
  • Lanai: Not documented
  • Maui: Not documented
  • Big Island: Present


  • US Fish and Wildlife Service. (2019). Smallmouth Bass Ecological Risk Screening Summary. USFWS. 
  • Fuller, P., Cannister, M., Neilson, M. (2019). Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) – Species Profile. US Nonindigenous Aquatic Species. 
  • CABI. (2019). Micropterus dolomieu (smallmouth bass). Invasive Species Compendium. 
  • Mundy, B.C. (2005) Checklist of the fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Zoology 6. Bishop Museum Press. 704pp.