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Spawning season and nesting habitat of invasive smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in the Chikuma River, Japan


Spawning season and habitat of invasive smallmouth bass were studied for two seasons in the Chikuma River, Nagano, Japan. Smallmouth bass spawning started in early May, when required water temperatures were met, and continued as long as spawning was not disrupted by high water levels. Spawning sites were found in patches throughout the study area that had significantly different physical characteristics than typical stream habitat features. Utilized spawning sites had low current velocity, were relatively shallow, and had pebble-sized substrate. Individual nest variables showed correlation with nesting male size as larger males constructed larger and deeper nests in faster flowing and deeper areas of the river. Nest guarding rates were low while egg presence rates were high compared to the native range, which may indicate that factors such as favorable water levels and water temperature and prevalence of spawning habitat facilitate spawning and the spread of smallmouth bass in the Chikuma River.

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We thank the Koshoku Fisheries Cooperation for their agreement to allow observation and sampling of fish in the Chikuma River. We also thank Narumi Kono (Nagano Prefecture Fisheries Experimental Station) for his conceptual advice and Shin-ichi Tasaki (Ecosys Limited Company) for his fieldwork assistance. This project was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. The survey in this study was conducted with the permission of Nagano Prefectural Government and complied with the current laws in Japan.

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Correspondence to Miles I. Peterson.

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Peterson, M.I., Kitano, S. & Ida, H. Spawning season and nesting habitat of invasive smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in the Chikuma River, Japan. Ichthyol Res 67, 1–6 (2020).

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  • Smallmouth bass
  • Invasion
  • Spawning season
  • Nesting habitat