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Identification: A large, slender fish with a moderately large mouth. The upper jaw does not extend past the rear margin of the eye. It is distinguished from the other black basses in Kentucky by having an olive-brown to bronze-colored body with sides either plain or marked with 10-15 faint vertical bars (vs. the broad dark stripe along the side in Largemouth and Spotted Bass). Juveniles have a 3-colored caudal fin (orange base, black middle, and white edge). The Smallmouth Bass is a very popular sport fish. Most adults are in the 10-20 in. (1-4 lbs.) range, but the world angling record is 11 lbs., 15 oz., which was taken from the Kentucky portion of Dale Hollow Lake in 1955.
Distribution and Habitat: Occurs in upland streams and rivers throughout the eastern two-thirds of the state, as well as several reservoirs. In streams, Smallmouth Bass primarily inhabit cool, clear, flowing pools over rocky bottoms, often moving to the bases of riffles to feed. In reservoirs, they are usually associated with rocky shores under ledges and around stumps and other submerged cover.