Late of the State Environmental Laboratory Services, Oklahoma Department of
Environmental Quality, Oklahoma City, OK 73152
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Northeast Regional Office, Porter, OK 74454
The yellow bass, Morone mississippiensis Jordan and Eigeman, has been collected only twice from the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. It was first collected by A. D. Aldrich (unpublished data, circa 1937) from a small oxbow (Vann's Lake), 12.8 km north of Muskogee near the Verdigris River in Muskogee County (T16N R18E Sec9) (1). It was listed as Morone interrupta Gill by C. L. Hubbs in an unpublished 1941 manuscript on Oklahoma fishes. Vann's Lake dried-up during the summers of 1954 and 1955, thus eliminating the population of yellow bass. One specimen, collected by G. E. Hall on 2 June 1950, is catalogued as UOMNH 26257 at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Robinson, Moore, and Miller (2) considered the yellow bass a rare species in Oklahoma, but erred in indicating its presence in Muskogee County. The same error appears in Miller and Robinson (3).
On 20 November 1996, biologists from the northeast regional offices of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation at Porter collected a single yellow bass from a gill net setting in W. D. Mayo Reservoir in Leflore County (T10N R26E Sec20). The fish was 176 mm long and weighed 62 g. The specimen was preserved and placed in the Porter office.
The Arkansas River navigation channel and the number of mainstem reservoirs may contribute to an increase in the number of yellow bass in the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. Personnel of the Department of Environmental Quality made five new collections of the species in the river. Single specimens of the bass were collected by seining
on 24 October 1981 at Webbers Falls City boat ramp in Muskogee County (T12N R21E Sec8) and, on 15 June 1982, from the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River north of Jet in Alfalfa County (T26N R9W Sec11). On 13 October 1984, a single fish was collected by seining from the Poteau River at Arcoma City Park boat ramp in LeFlore county (T16N R16E Sec9). On 20 June 1985 a single yellow bass was captured from the Arkansas River northeast of Haskell in Muskogee county (T16N R16E Sec31). Five specimens were collected on 24 July 1985 from the Arkansas River at the boat ramp in Sand Springs City Park in Tulsa County (T19N R11E Sec14). The most recent collection of yellow bass from the Arkansas River was on 13 October 1990 from Bird Creek northwest of Catoosa in Rogers County (T20N R14E Sec19). All specimens were deposited in the Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (OSUS).
Others have discussed the distribution of yellow bass in McCurtain County in southeast Oklahoma (3,4). Since the report of this species in the Little River system in 1978, this species was collected in gill net samples from Lake Hugo, but usually in small (3-40 specimens) numbers. We collected yellow bass from three lake sites in 1982 and 1986. The first site was north of the dam on the east side at the boat ramp and swimming area in Choctaw County (T6SR18E Sec12). In nine collections from this site, we had a total of 20 yellow bass. The second site was 6.4 km east of Messer in Choctaw County (T5S R18E Sec19). We made six collections and in three we found 46 yellow bass. The third site was on the Kiamichi River northeast of Antlers in Pushmataha County (T3S R16E Sec35). This site was at the headwaters of the lake. We made 48 collections which yielded a total of two single specimens of yellow bass, in 1983 and 1984. All specimens were deposited at OSUS.
1. Moore GA. Discovery of fishes of Oklahoma (1852-1972). Proc Okla Acad Sci 1973;53:1-26.
2. Robinson HW, Moore GA, Miller RJ. Threatened fishes of Oklahoma. Proc Okla Acad Sci 1974;54:139-146.
3. Miller RJ, Robinson HW. The fishes of Oklahoma. Stillwater (OK): Oklahoma State University Press;1973. 246 p.
4. Pigg J, Barnett M, Scott K. Recent records of the yellow bass, Morone mississippinesis, Jordan and Eigeman, in Oklahoma. Proc Okla Acad Sci 1979;59:123.
Received: February 2, 1999; Accepted: April 23, 1999