New Bass Species Discovered in Florida

Posted on May 8, 2013

choctaw-bass-photo.jpg


Scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have announced the discovery of a new species of black bass. The fish inhabits coastal river systems in Alabama and along the western Florida panhandle, including the Choctawhatchee River. The newly discovered fish closely resembles the spotted bass.

The scientists have named the fish the Choctaw bass (Micropterus haiaka). The name will have to be approved by the American Fisheries Society before it becomes official.

Mike Tringali, who heads the genetics laboratory at the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, said in a statement, "We didn't set out to find a new speciese. It found us."

Tringali says, "We chose the name Choctaw bass because the species' range overlaps the historic range of the Choctaw Indians. As for our recommended scientific name, Micropterus haiaka, 'haiaka' is a Choctaw word that means 'revealed.'"

Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission