Good afternoon folks,
In South Florida coastal rivers, two fishes reign supreme, snook and largemouth bass. Recently, state and federal agencies have launched large scale collaborative research projects investigating the dynamics behind these two river fisheries. I would like to share a finding from a component of that research looking at bass and snook diets within these systems. These diet studies were conducted across multiple-years in the Sebastian, St. Lucie, Loxahatchee, Calusa, Mykaa, Peace, and Shark River.
Though we are still analyzing these data, one interesting discovery we have found is that
Occasionally snook eat bass
Two snook in the everglades with the taste for bass!!!!
And occasionally bass eat snook
Angry east coast bass with the hunger for snook! Photo taken by Kevin Johnson at FWRI
Interguild predation such as snook eating bass and bass eating snook is relatively rare. For instance, in the Everglades, only two snook out of 1,000 sampled ate bass, and not a single Everglades bass out of 2,000 sampled ate a snook. The general consensus among researchers is that whether a bass eats a snook or a snook eats a bass largely depends on who is bigger, hungrier, and has the element of surprise.
However, senior scientists with Florida Fish and Wildlife Research institute suspect that with all things held equal, a bass could bully a snook away from quality habitat and resources. And, in the Everglades, some evidence suggests that when bass are highly abundant in the freshwater reaches of coastal rivers, snook go somewhere else.
In the battle of good versus evil, silver versus green, freshwater versus estuarine, temperate versus tropical, who do you think is the meaner tougher fish… snook or bass?
For more detailed information about these studies see these links , project APEX east coast & FWRI west coast.