Yellow Bass Reproduction
Yellow Bass reach an average of four inches in the first year, seven inches the second year, nine inches the third year and 10 inches at the end of the fourth year.
Yellow Bass spawning occurs in rivers and lakes of the Mississippi drainage basin and all its tributaries over gravel, rock or sandy beds. They prefer water to be no deeper than a three feet and no shallow than two feet. This all occurs between the months of May and June in Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee and Montana and in the months of February to April in southern Missouri.
As with all bass species, changes in water temperature govern all aspects of their life from feeding to spawning to migration. When water temperatures rise to 59°F degrees after a rapid rise over a period of several days, spawning begins. However, spawning of the yellow bass occurs between 50°F/10°C and 75°F/24°C but it can occur as warm as 78°F/26°C.
Sexual maturity varies from location to location with maturity occurring as early as year two and as late as year three. Most females mature at age four. However, in Tennessee both sexes mature at age two. There does not appear to be a consistency in the age at which Yellow Bass reach maturity in general. However, in local populations, the age of maturity is consistent from year to year for both sexes.
Once they have spawned, they leave the fertilized eggs and the young fry to take care of themselves.
No Nest Required
The Yellow Bass migrate into small tributaries from the main river systems to spawn. Spawning takes place over rock outcrops, sunken trees and other debris that is protect from moving water.
Yellow Bass reach an average of four inches in the first year, seven inches the second year, nine inches the third year and 10 inches at the end of the fourth year. However, they rarely grow more than three pounds.
Both sexes mature by the end of the second year. Being the smallest sized fish in the temperate bass family in the state, Yellow Bass rarely exceed three-fourths pound in weight.