What Is the State Fish of Texas?

Christina Edwards

Known scientifically as Microterus treculii, the Guadalupe bass is the official state fish of Texas. This fish can only be found in Texas, and it is sometimes confused with smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass. Guadalupe bass typically prefer fast-moving water, and they are often a favorite game fish for anglers. Due to a decline in the populations of the state fish of Texas, officials have begun to stock remote streams with Guadalupe bass.

A map of the US.
A map of the US.

The Guadalupe bass has been the official state fish of Texas since 1989. One of the reasons that this fish was chosen is that it is only found in the waters of Texas. It is often found in the Guadalupe river. It can also be found in the San Antonio, Brazos, and Colorado rivers.

The average length of the state fish of Texas is around 1 foot (30.5 centimeters). They usually weigh in at around 1 pound (0.5 kilograms), but they have been known to get larger. The largest Guadalupe bass on record weighed in at around 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms).

Like some other types of bass, Guadalupe bass are not considered to be true bass. Instead, they are considered to be sunfish, from the Centrarchidae family. They are olive green in color, and they often strongly resemble smallmouth and speckled bass, but they have slightly different markings. They can be distinguished from largemouth bass by their smaller mouth, which does not go past their eyes.

Quick-moving streams and rivers are typically the preferred spots of the state fish of Texas. Typically, the smaller fish can be found in the very fast-moving portions of the streams. Larger fish, on the other hand, will often stay in the slower-moving parts of the rivers.

Anglers often have very good luck catching Guadalupe bass. These fish typically prefer to eat insects and small minnows, so using bait that resembles these will often result in at least a nibble from the state fish of Texas. They will often put up a great fight as well. Most anglers will release these fish when they are caught, since their numbers are declining.

After the smallmouth bass was introduced to the area in 1989, the number of Guadalupe bass in Texas began to get smaller. To counteract this population decline, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department began stocking streams with Guadalupe bass. In 2011, for instance, almost 200,000 fish were released.

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