White Bass
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Note that the dorsal fins are separate; there are 10-13 dorsal rays.
  • Close-up anal fin: Notice that the 2nd anal spine is shorter than 3rd; there are 11-13 anal rays.
  • Notice the rounded profile and the laterally compressed body with the deepest part underneath the spiny dorsal fin.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the horizontal stripes, broken but not strongly offset below the lateral line; there are 52-60 lateral scales.
  • Close-up anal fin: Notice that the 2nd anal spine is shorter than 3rd; there are 11-13 anal rays.
  • Close-up inside of mouth: There is a single patch of teeth in the middle of the back of the tongue.
  • Close-up underside of head of a breeder: Notice the bluish-purplish (lavender?) chin; otherwise breeders are similar to non-breeders.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Alternate side view of an adult.
  • Alternate view of the flank.
  • Alternate side view of an adult.
  • Side view of a white bass X striped bass hybrid: Notice the intermediate shape.
  • Side view of a white bass X striped bass hybrid: Notice the intermediate shape.
  • Side view of a white bass X striped bass hybrid: Notice the intermediate shape.
  • Inside of mouth of a white bass X striped bass hybrid: Notice the pair of tooth patches in the middle of the back of the tongue.
  • Young-of-year white bass X striped bass hybrid: Notice the intermediate shape.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Temperate Basses (Moronidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Terminal and oblique. Small teeth in patches on upper and lower jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: 6-8 dark horizontal lateral stripes over an olive, silver, or white body. 52-60 ctenoid lateral line scales. Fins pigmented gray or brown. Body shape and size: Body deep and laterally compressed. Typically 200-300 mm (8-12 in) TL; maximum about 475 mm (19 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Slightly forked tail. Two dorsal fins, very close or touching but not connected by a membrane, the anterior with usually 9 spines and the posterior with 1 spine and 12-15 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 1 spine and 11-13 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The white bass differs by having 3 anal spines and 6-8 dark horizontal stripes, by the conspicuous spine on the upper back part of the opercle, the saw-edged margin of the preopercle, and the 6-8 horizontal stripes. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to nonbreeders, but may have light bluish color on chin and lower jaw.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but not as deep bodied.
Hybrids
White bass X striped bass (stocked in Lake Columbia, Columbia County; photos); white bass X yellow bass (no photo); white bass X white perch reported from elsewhere but not confirmed from Wisconsin (no photo).
Compare Similar Species
Body Pattern
Bass, Striped6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes, usually not offset
Bass, White6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes, usually not offset
Bass, Yellow6-8 distinct black horizontal stripes, often broken and offset above anal fin
Perch, WhiteSolid color; faint stripes may be present in juveniles
Body Profile
Bass, StripedRounded anteriorly and not arched; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal; more elongate and fusiform than others
Bass, WhiteRounded anteriorly and not arched; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal; laterally compressed
Bass, YellowSomewhat arched anteriorly; deepest part of body below spiny dorsal fin; laterally compressed
Perch, WhiteSharply arched anteriorly; deepest part of body before spiny dorsal fin; laterally compressed
Dorsal Fins
Bass, StripedSlightly separate or touching but not connected by membrane
Bass, WhiteSlightly separate or touching but not connected by membrane
Bass, YellowSlightly connected
Perch, WhiteSlightly connected
Dorsal Rays (2nd Dorsal Fin)
Bass, Striped10-14, usually 11-12
Bass, White12-51, usually 13-14
Bass, Yellow11-13, usually 11-12
Perch, White10-13, usually 11-12
Anal Spines
Bass, Striped2nd clearly shorter than 3rd
Bass, White2nd clearly shorter than 3rd
Bass, Yellow2nd and 3rd about equal in length
Perch, White2nd and 3rd about equal in length
Anal Rays
Bass, Striped9-12, usually 10-11
Bass, White11-13, usually 12
Bass, Yellow8-10, usually 9
Perch, White8-10, usually 9-10
Lateral Line Scales
Bass, Striped53-65, usually 57-63
Bass, White52-60, usually 54-58
Bass, Yellow49-55, usually 49-51
Perch, White44-52, usually 46-49
Tongue Teeth
Bass, StripedTwo elongated patches on rear of tongue, distinctly separate
Bass, WhiteSingle oval patch on rear of tongue, ocassionally with medial division
Bass, YellowNone
Perch, WhiteNone
Similarity Index
Bass, StripedVery similar
Bass, WhiteN/A
Bass, YellowVery similar
Perch, WhiteVery similar
Comments
Bass, StripedNot established in WI; speciment reported but unconfirmed in the Fox River, Kenosha County, presumably a stray from stocked populations in Illinois
Bass, WhiteModerately similar to yellow perch, ruffe, sunfish family; differs from yellow perch and ruffe by having 3 (vs 2) anal spines and light olive, silvery, or whitish body without obvious vertical bars or mottling, and from sunfishes by the conspicuous spine
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