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Smallmouth Bass in the Pacific Northwest: A Threat to Native Species; a Benefit for Anglers

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As a popular sportfish, smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) generates considerable angling opportunities with benefits to local economies even outside of their native range. Smallmouth bass was first introduced to the Pacific Northwest region of North America as a sportfish over 80 years ago, and this species is now widely distributed. More recently, smallmouth bass have become a large component of the fish community in many streams, rivers, and lakes. Smallmouth bass thrive in the Pacific Northwest largely due to the habitat created by human modifications of the landscape. While a desired sportfish, smallmouth bass may also negatively affect native fishes. Of greatest concern is predation on threatened and endangered Pacific salmon; however, the current level of knowledge is inadequate to make informed management decisions for smallmouth bass. Management options for smallmouth bass are complicated further because fisheries agencies are simultaneously charged with enhancing fishing opportunities and controlling predators of threatened and endangered salmon. To advance conservation science, there is a need to determine the utility of different management approaches, and testing options in key areas of overlap between smallmouth bass and salmon is suggested.
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Keywords: invasive species; predation; smallmouth bass; sportfish; threatened and endangered salmon

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, SeattleWashington, USA 2: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, CorvallisOregon, USA 3: University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, SeattleWashington, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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