Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Donald G. Tarter

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas E. Weaks

Third Advisor

Dr. James E. Joy


A study was undertaken to determine the food habits of two game fishes, the largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) and the spotted bass M. punctulatus (Rafinesque) in Beech Fork Reservoir shortly after its impoundment. A total of 171 largemouth bass and 95 spotted bass were collected from July 1978, through June 1979, and their stomach contents analyzed.

Largemouth bass fed primarily on fishes, particularly young-of-the-year bluegill. Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates were also important food items, especially during the spring and fall . The dominant aquatic forms were chironomid larvae and pupae while the dominant terrestrial forms were adult dipterans.

Spotted bass utilized aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates more than fishes as food. Chironomid larvae and pupae were the most important aquatic invertebrates consumed while adult dipterans and hymenopterans dominated the terrestrial food category. Entomostracans were eaten by some of the smaller spotted bass, but were not found in any of the largemouth bass. The majority of the forage fishes of spotted bass were unidentifiable. However, none of these fishes were soft-rayed, indicating that minnows were not an important food item. Soft-rayed fishes were also conspicuously absent from the diet of largemouth bass. Crayfish were consumed by both species of bass but, when compared with the other food groups, were of relatively minor importance.


Fishes -- Feeding and feeds.

Fishes -- Food.

Basses (Fish)

Fisheries -- Research -- West Virginia.