Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus); photo by Noel Burkhead/Howard Jelks / U.S. Geological Survey (public domain photo on Wikipedia).
Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus); Photo by [file:field-file-photographer]/[file:field-file-source] ([file:field-file-license]).
Official State Fish of Kentucky
Kentucky spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) was designated as the official state fish of Kentucky in 1956 (also called just "Kentucky bass," though it is one of four species of black bass swimming in Kentucky waters). All State Fish
A member of the sunfish family, Kentucky spotted bass live primarily in streams that have clear water and moderate to swift current. Often found in schools, newly-hatched Kentucky spotted bass begin life eating zooplankton. As the fish mature they begin to eat insects, and as adults they prey on other fish and crayfish. Females may lay up to 47,000 eggs in a gravel nest, where the male guards the eggs during incubation and up to four weeks after hatching.
According to the USGS; the native range for spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) includes the "Mississippi River basin from southern Ohio and West Virginia to southeastern Kansas, and south to the Gulf; Gulf Slope drainages from the Chattahoochee River, Georgia (where possibly introduced), to the Guadalupe River, Texas."