The Freshwater Drum spawning season is in May and June. Spawning begins once the water has reached an acceptable temperature level of about 65-79 degrees Fahrenheit or 18-26 degrees Celsius. Male fish will "drum" to signify the start of the spawning aggregation and to attract their mates. Spawning aggregation is a meeting or gathering of fish for the sole purpose of reproduction. Adult drum fish will gather offshore of lakes or in the upper portion of the Mississippi River depending on the body of water where they reside. The drums will gather with their backs breaking the water surface.

Females will lay small, pelagic eggs into the deep, open waters of the lakes or large rivers. The fertilized eggs are buoyant and will develop quickly over the next 1-2 days. Once they hatch, the embryos attach to the water's surface and start to develop guts, fin rays, and mouths over a period of 1-2 days. After development is complete, they release themselves from the surface and begin to feed.

A large female can lay up to 600,000 eggs! Most female drums however lay anywhere between 40,000 and 500,000 eggs depending on their size, fertility, and health.

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