Can you stock largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the same lake?

Can you stock largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the same lake??

Lake management has been the subject of hot debate in recent years, specifically whether largemouth bass and smallmouth bass can live in harmony in any given lake. There is no black and white answer to this question because different experts believe different answers to be true. However, extensive research has been completed on the subject and whilst it is possible to stock largemouth and smallmouth bass in the same lake, over a period of about 10 years the smallmouth bass will become extinct in the lake. The Darwin theory of survival of the fittest definitely applies when you stock largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in the same lake. The largemouth will eventually take over and make the lake uninhabitable for the smallmouth. Although larger smallmouth can survive with the largemouth in the lake, they will ultimately die out because spawning will not be successful and any young born will be attacked and die within the first few months of life. Reproduction also has an impact on why largemouth and smallmouth bass cannot co-exist for a long period of time. Smallmouth bass need a settled and secure habitat to settle in whereas bass are much more adaptable. Although some lakes do feature both smallmouth and largemouth bass, most of those that do so successfully for a number of years have distinct areas that are inhabited by one or the other. There may be a dam or a land break for example. It is essential to make sure that any lake management featuring both does not make the ultimate mistake though – bass may be bass but the species definitely look to fulfil the natural order of things so do not think that they will find their own level. They won’t without the smallmouth disappearing.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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