BIO 203: Organismal Biology, UW-La Crosse
The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui) is an incredibly fascinating fish. For some angling enthusiasts like me, they are also a heck of a lot of fun to catch (and release!) if you are up to the challenge. When considering all the game fish in North America, it holds a widespread reputation as the strongest fighter for its size. However, it's time to close the bails on your reels, temporarily set down your fishing rods and put your thinking caps on. The primary purpose of this web site is to provide interesting, thought-provoking, and scientifically accurate information concerning the most relevant biological aspects of this compelling species: its taxonomic classification and evolutionary relationships with related species; the various types of environments that provide adequate habitat for smallmouth bass populations; how this creature is anatomically and physiologically adapted for successfully carrying out its role as an upper-level predator; how its diet and feeding behavior are influenced by seasonal climate change and metabolism; the nuances of its annual reproductive behavior; and the dynamic interactions that regularly occur between the smallmouth bass and other organisms, which contribute to the rich biodiversity of many freshwater ecosystems.
Hopefully, you will enjoy the information and pictures I have compiled on this web site as much I have enjoyed learning more about the smallmouth bass myself. I, for one, am sure to benefit greatly from the in-depth knowledge I have obtained while conducting research on this awesome animal, having had the opportunity to soak in, interpret, and relay so many concepts and ideas from a wide range of outstanding sources of smallmouth bass expertise. As an avid fisherman, the ability to think critically about smallmouth bass from a biological perspective has been an eye-opening experience, which is sure to provide me with an advantage while out on the water. If you aren’t as obsessed with bass fishing as I am, keep an open mind, because I am confident that you will still gain a far greater understanding and appreciation for this fish than you had ever thought possible. If you’re looking strictly for angling tactics and strategies for locating and catching smallmouth, you’ve come to the wrong place; in fact, I haven’t included any information of this nature. If you’re hoping to gain a well-rounded biological understanding of the smallmouth bass before heading out to the lake or river and applying what you’ve learned to devise your own effective strategies, you may just be in luck! The bass biology on display here should equip you with the strong foundation necessary to decipher what smallmouth do, via thorough consideration of how, when, where, and why they do it.
To begin your exploration of smallmouth bass, simply click on any one of multiple tabs found along the upper-lefthand margin of the page; alternatively, you can just click here to learn how and why the smallmouth bass is classified as its own distinct species. May your curiosity lead the way!
To view the web sites created by my classmates and/or those created by Organismal Biology students from previous semesters at UW-La Crosse, please check out www.multipleorganisms.net