The state fish of Oklahoma, white bass are distributed widely across the United States, particularly in the midwest. The species' main color is silver-white to pale green. Its back is dark, with white sides and belly, and with narrow dark stripes running lengthwise on the sides. It has large, rough scales and two dorsal fins. The white bass is a deep-bodied fish with a compressed body and it has two dorsal fins. The more anterior dorsal fin is much harder and appears to have spines on them. Although these are not true spines, this type of fin is called a spinous ray. The more posterior of the two dorsal fins is much softer, and is thus called a soft-ray.
White bass spawn over gravel bars in late April to June. There is no nest preparation. Schools of males migrate upstream to spawning areas as much as a month before females. Females rise to the surface and several males crowd around as the eggs and sperm are released. No care is given to the eggs or fry. Fry grow rapidly, feeding on small invertebrates. White bass may grow eight or nine inches during the first year and adults are usually found in schools. Feeding occurs near the surface where fish, crustaceans, and emerging insects are found in abundance.
White bass are found in deep, clears waters. White bass often travel in schools, chasing baitfish in the open waters of lakes and large rivers. They inhabit large reservoirs and rivers. When mating in the spring, they are more often found in shallow rivers, creeks, and streams.
Native to the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, the Great Lakes and from the St. Lawrence to Lake Winnipeg and into the Red river basin, and from the Río Grande to the Gulf of Mexico. Successfully transplanted to other states including California.