Barfish, Morone Mississippiensis

The barfish, also named the yellow bass, is a fresh water fish that is found in the United States. Native to the Tombigbee, Tennessee, Mississippi and Pearl Rivers, it is also found in smaller rivers, pools, basins, ponds, and lakes, from Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico in central areas of the U.S.

The body of the barfish is golden yellow in color with black stripes from the back of the head running horizontally to the tail. The top stripes are continuous, but the lower 3 or 4 are broken. The average size for the adult fish is 8 – 11 inches in length, and 1.5 – 2.5 lbs.

The diet of the young barfish consists of small fly larvae and crustaceans, while the adult feeds on insect larvae, smaller fish like minnows, silversides, and shads. Barfish will generally live 5 – 7 years, depending on conditions and food supply.

The adult fish will migrate in great numbers once every year from the large lakes and rivers into smaller tributaries to spawn in April and May. When this occurs, frequently several males will mate with one female. External fertilization will take place as the female lays the eggs, which scatter about in the open water.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Moronidae

Image Credit: Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources: Fish and Fishing/Wikipedia