New Species of Bass

By: Terry Tomalin

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Scientists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have discovered a new species of black bass, found only in the southeastern United States.

Biologists hope to call the fish the Choctaw bass and have recommended a scientific name of Micropterus haiaka.

The species inhabits the coastal river systems of Alabama and the western Florida panhandle, which includes the Choctawhatchee River. The word “haiaka” is Choctaw for “revealed.”

The American Fisheries Society must approve the suggested scientific name for it to be official. The Choctaw bass is very similar to the spotted bass, but the two have physical differences not easily seen with the naked eye.

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