An Introduction to Roanoke Bass Distribution Information and Facts
Rock bass are voracious feeders of bait fish like fathead minnows, golden shiners and gizzard shad.
The Roanoke Bass are found in the Chowan, Roanoke, Tar and Neuse River Drainages in Virginia and North Carolina where they prefer rocky and sandy pools of creeks and small to medium clear rivers. However, as these are freshwater fish, you will not find them near brackish water.
The Roanoke Bass prefer the upper portions of these river. They can’t stand estuaries and they don’t care much for large rivers, preferring the headwaters of the rivers in their distribution.
Invasion of the Rock Bass
The Redeye Bass population have been affected by Rock bass. The rock bass have severely affected Roanoke bass populations in the upper Roanoke drainage through hybridization and competition. Their populations have declined after 1965, when rock bass reached high densities.
The Roanoke Bass is not the only fish that is affected by hydridisation. The Guadalupe Bass, which also has a limited population, has been mating with the smallmouth bass for decades, reducing the numbers of pure breed Guadalupe Bass.
Is there a solution. The short answer is no. While we can try mass restocking of Roanoke Bass, unless we could remove all Rock Bass from the drainage areas, breeding numbers will just increase again over time.
Rock bass are voracious feeders of bait fish like fathead minnows, golden shiners and gizzard shad. The problem is that these bait fish are the major source of food for all other major predators in the lake, which puts pressure on the ecosystem. It is the effect of the rock bass and human activities that are causing stress to the Roanoke bass and reducing its numbers.