Georgian Bay Forever is working with Dr. Kevin McCann of the University of Guelph, and the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding to catalogue all the aquatic organisms in Georgian Bay. This will help with measuring the impact of environmental stressors like climate change and human activity such as shoreline development as well as aiding in future conservation efforts, ecosystem monitoring, forensics, and tracking invasives. All the specimens collected and identified will also contribute to the International Barcode of Life , a multi-nation effort to catalogue the world's biodiversity. Here are 2 examples from Georgian Bay's Aquatic Species Library.
How to tell them apart?
I have a confession. I have been fishing in Georgian Bay for more than 40 years and the difference between smallmouth bass and largemouth bass seemed obvious, but I have learned a much easier way to tell them apart. The most distinguishable feature for me is broad stripe verses vertical lines on the body. Here are some other differences:
- Stripes. A largemouth bass has broad stripe running horizontally whereas a smallmouth bass has lines running vertically .
- Mouth extension in relation to the eye. A smallmouth's goes to the medium point of the eye generally, while a largemouth's extends beyond it.
- Dorsal fins. A largmouth's dorsal fin is almost 2 separate fins, with 9 or more in the front, while a smallmouth's is not divided.
- Scales on the cheek. A little tricky to examine, but largemouth bass have about 17 rows of scales, and a smallmouth has 10 rows.
Did you know?
There appear to be many lovely characteristics that these two fish types generally share. See this great 2 min video shows their protective side.
Sources and acknowledgements
Thank you to the sources for information in this post.Note - We try to bring together information to help understand this species. We do use sources to provide information and visuals. We do our best to attribute properly and try very hard to get it right. If we have made an inadvertent mistake around recognizing someone’s work or misinterpreting the work, please let us know via email at communications and I will correct.General
https://ibol.org/about-us/what-is-ibol/. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largemouth_bass. https://www.ontario.ca/page/largemouth-bass. https://www.ontario.ca/page/smallmouth-bass. http://www.themarina.on.ca/fishing-in-ontario-basic-differences-between-small-and-largemouth-bass/. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallmouth_bass. http://ontariobassfishing.net/smallmouth-bass-biology/. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoZ81au_YZg.
Thank you for supporting the Georgian Bay Aquatic Species Library
For more information about the DNA barcoding project for Georgian Bay. Please visit here. We can't stop now! Please donate to Georgian Bay Forever to ensure projects like these continue. Georgian Bay Forever is a charity that funds and supports scientific research, restoration projects and education that protect and enhance the waters of Georgian Bay, as part of the Great Lakes. Our vision is that Georgian Bay waters are healthy and thriving for future generations. Learn more about how you can support out work.