Species Profile – Largemouth Bass

Mon, March 27, 2017 | Lakes and Parks

Article by Leah Ring


Scientific Name:               Micropterus salmoides

Common Name(s):         Largemouth Bass, Bucketmouth, Big Mouth, Green Bass, Florida Bass


The largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, is easily among the most economically and culturally important sport fish in the world.  It has two close cousins in Arkansas, the smallmouth bass and the spotted bass.  It is much more easily distinguished from the smallmouth bass because it is more often caught in lakes whereas the smallmouth prefers rivers.  The smallmouth is more bronze in coloration. When the mouth is closed, the mouth of the largemouth extends far beyond the back edge of the eye, the spotted bass to the middle of the eye, and the smallmouth to the front edge of the eye.  The largemouth generally lacks a tooth patch on the tongue that is present on the spotted bass.  Distinguishing characteristics between the largemouth and spotted bass are general and somewhat subjective due to common natural hybridization where both occur.  The back and upper sides of the largemouth are olive to green, while the lower sides and belly are white or yellow with scattered dark brown spots. The midline of the fish has a broad and jagged black band.  It differs from other black basses by being the largest in size, lacks several regular rows of black spots on lower sides, has a much larger mouth, and has a deep notch between the two fins on its back.  Largemouth bass in Arkansas typically range from 12-20 inches in length and weigh 1-5 lbs.  The current state record is 16 lbs 8 oz from Mallard Lake.




Micropterus salmoides is native to North America where it inhabits freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams.  Although it is native to the central part of North America, the Largemouth Bass has been stocked extensively across the United States and globally for sport fishing.  In Arkansas, the Largemouth Bass is found statewide in all drainages.


The largemouth bass is a warm water sport fish, preferring water temperatures around 68°-78°F.  They are mostly found in calm waters.  They inhabit natural and man-made lakes and ponds, but also calm backwaters and pools of streams and rivers.  The fish can tolerate brackish water for short periods of time and have been known to move from one drainage to another along the coast.  Largemouth bass are often found near logs or brush in varying depths of water.  Largemouth bass can survive in a variety of habitats, making them a very adaptable fish; however, they are intolerant of high levels of turbidity and siltation.

In Arkansas, largemouth spawn from April to June when water temperatures are above 65°F.  Males construct circular nests in substrate, preferring gravel and areas with no current.  Males aggressively guard the nest until the young swim away, and may stay with the schooling young for several days.  Young are often found along shorelines or other structure.

The largemouth bass is a voracious predator that consumes mostly fish, crayfish, insects, and crustaceans.  Its prey includes almost any animal that can fit in its mouth.  Its voracious and aggressive predatory tendencies are part of the reason it is so popular among sport fishermen.  The largemouth bass has been introduced into many regions outside of its native range because of its popularity as a sport fish.  Although they are very popular, they can have negative impacts on native ecosystems in places where they are introduced.  They eat native fish, or out-compete them for food resources, and can have a devastating effect on native populations.

Special Notes:

Here in Bella Vista, largemouth bass are found in all the lakes and are the most popular fishery.  They can be caught using a variety of techniques including artificial lures and natural or live bait including minnows, crayfish, frogs, and earthworms.  They prefer to be near submerged vegetation or flooded timber and brush where they can ambush their prey.  In streams, they prefer slow moving current, although smallmouth or spotted bass may be more common.

There is a lot of interest in the southern strain or Florida largemouth to supplement and improve the genetics of our largemouth population here.  We are just too far north to see any benefit from supplementing with southern strain largemouth, and in fact northern strain largemouth outperform southern strain fish at our latitude.  Even in Texas, southern strain fish are only used in the southern 2/3 of the state.  All of the Bella Vista lakes are capable of producing largemouth up to 8 pounds with Lake Brittany producing several over 12 pounds over the years.  We encourage our anglers to release fish between 13 and 16 inches as they are the most prolific spawners.  We also encourage aggressive harvest of fish between 10 and 13 inches as they have the tendency to become stunted at that size due to competition for limited resources.   Largemouth bass are not being stocked in any of the lakes because they are able to reproduce naturally and are able to sustain stable populations.

Ball Mark Repair Awareness Month

Thu, March 23, 2017 | Golf

by Keith Ihms, Director of Golf Course Maintenance

How to Fix a Ball Mark

Have you ever been involved in a heated debate about the best way to fix a ball mark? I know I have! In general, superintendents would prefer that golfers use any method as opposed to doing nothing, but there is a method endorsed by the golf community that is considered the official way.

Here are some quick facts on ball marks:

• Unfixed ball marks result in an uneven and scarred putting surface

• It is the responsibility of every golfer to fix at least their own ball mark

• It can take 2 or 3 weeks for an unfixed ball mark to heal

• Fixing ball marks vastly improves the putting surface for everyone

The best way to fix a ball mark:

When I first started golfing in grade school, I assumed the best way to fix a ball mark was to use a tool to pry up the middle of the indentation. This seems logical but it can result in torn roots and more recovery time. The best way is the “twist” method endorsed by the Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA).

Here is the secret: Your goal is to stretch the undamaged surface back into the depression, not to lift the depression by prying. The putting surface is actually a fairly elastic thing. Ball impact pushes the surface out to form the ridges around the depression, so you can fix it by stretching the surface back in. In the process, the indentation or depression should flatten out.

I think many people are reluctant to try this method because it is difficult to visualize. As a result, many golfers may not attempt to fix their ball marks because they are afraid of doing it the “wrong” way. Try this method. You may be surprised by how easy it is.

Spring Bazaar – Saturday, April 22

Thu, March 23, 2017 | Recreation

We are excited to announce the Spring Bazaar at Riordan Hall. Due to the overwhelming response to the Christmas Bazaar, we are holding an arts and crafts bazaar, Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., indoors at Riordan Hall.
Up to 50 artisan vendors will be displaying and selling their hand-made items such as jewelry, stained glass, paintings, candles, specialty soaps, needlework, woodcarvings, collectibles and so much more. This bazaar will be a great opportunity to shop the wares of many talented local artisans in the Northwest Arkansas community.
We are still accepting table rentals, but please hurry because vendor tables sell out quickly. One 8′ x 3′ table is $35.00, or two tables for $60.00 (maximum limit of 2). Please contact Cathy Wilmoth at 479-855-8170 or email cathyw@bvvpoa.com to reserve your table today!

Children’s Easter Egg Hunt/Bicycle Safety Checks

Wed, March 22, 2017 | Recreation

All children ages 12 and under are invited to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, join in an Egg hunt, have their bicycle safety checked and try out the brand new Bella Vista bike skills park at Metfield Park, 1 Hilltop Dr in Bella Vista from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.



The festivities will begin with bicycle safety checks and the opportunity to have a picture taken with the Easter Bunny at 9:30 a.m. The Easter Bunny will take a break from picture taking in order to start the egg hunt precisely at 10 a.m. The Easter egg hunt will be divided into four age groups in four separate areas of the park. Group hunts will be scheduled in a manner so that parents of multiple children will have the opportunity to watch the various age-specific egg hunts. Each division will have one golden egg hidden, which can be turned in for a grand prize at the photo booth. After all age group hunts are completed the Easter Bunny will once again be available for photo opportunity until 11 a.m.


All children are invited to bring their bicycle and have a safety check completed by GPP Cycling, a Bella Vista bike store, who is co-sponsoring this event along with the Bella Vista POA. All bike riders are also welcome to try out the new bike skills park at Metfield, which was designed to introduce mountain-bike skills to new riders.

Fitness 101 – Orientation

Tue, March 21, 2017 | Recreation

Attend this one-time workshop and learn the basics on proper use of our cardio and strength equipment. Each class is limited to 8 participants; class is free with a current POA photo Member card, Silver Sneakers Member card, or current Silver & Fit membership; participants without these cards will be required to pay the $2.25 daily facility use fee. Sign up at the fitness center near you: Branchwood Rec Center, 222 Glasgow Rd., (479) 855-8181, Metfield Clubhouse, 3 Euston Rd., (479) 855-8165 or Riordan Hall, 3 Riordan Dr., (479) 855-8170.
Class meets at the following locations and times the next few weeks:
Saturday, March 25 – Metfield Clubhouse at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, March 28 – Riordan Hall at 1:30 p.m.
Monday, April 3 – Branchwood Rec Center at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 13 – Riordan Hall at 1 p.m.

Fitness Centers open on Sunday:  The fitness centers at Riordan Hall and Metfield Clubhouse are open for use on Sundays, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Branchwood Rec Center and Pool Sunday hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Here is a complete listing of Recreation facility hours:
Branchwood Rec Center
Monday – Friday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Metfield Clubhouse
Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Riordan Hall
Monday – Thursday: 5:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 5:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Music Across America

Tue, March 21, 2017 | Recreation

Music Across America, featuring Big Band music performed by the 17-piece JM Band of NWA with Susan Wizer as vocalist, will be held at Riordan Hall on Saturday, April 1 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Donations will be collected to support CASA of Northwest Arkansas and its advocacy of abused and neglected children. For additional information telephone (479) 725-2213 or visit www.nwacasa.org.

Little Aces

Tue, March 21, 2017 | Recreation

All children 5 to 8 years of age are invited to participate in “Little Aces”, a 6-week tennis introductory program at Kingsdale Tennis Center, Wednesdays from 4  to 5 p.m., April 5 through May 10 at Kingsdale Tennis Center, 1 Riordan Dr. in Bella Vista. If necessary, May 17 and 24 have been reserved as rain make-up dates. This program will be led by Kingsdale Tennis staff who guarantee a fun tennis experience for your little ace! Cost of the program is $90 for children of Bella Vista POA Members and $100 for recreational guests. Please call Kingsdale Tennis Center at (479) 855-8174 to register your child or for additional information.

Fly-Tying Class Completion

Thu, March 9, 2017 | Lakes and Parks

Introductory Fly-Tying Class Completion

Several members of the Bella Vista Fly Tyers Club completed the Introductory Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Club.  Weekly classes began on September 21 and will continue until March 14.  Members tied at least 25 different fishing fly patterns during the course.

Class members include (from left to right)(seated) Tristan Avila, Joe Avila, Luann Lawrence, Marcus Wright, and Dan Bullock, (standing) Ed Fischer, Gary Rowland (Instructor) Ron DeVaney, Ron Blackwelder, Paul Bickford, and Harrold Robinson.


Advanced Fly Tying Class Completion

Several members of the Bella Vista Fly Tyers Club completed the Advanced Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Club.  Weekly classes began on September 12 and will continue until March 13.  Members tied at least 25 different fishing fly patterns during the course.

Members present for the photo include (from left to right)(seated) Don Chapman, Steve Curtis, Marvin Macedo, Pat Patrick, and Richard Starr (standing) Ray Atkinson (Instructor), Gary Henderson, Owen Wilson, and Jim Hudson.


The Bella Vista Fly Tyers Club is a fishing, conservation, and service Club consisting of approximately 150 members. This group of men and women share a common interest in fishing (both warm and cold water species) found in the local streams and lakes of Bella Vista. The Club also promotes lake conservation, recreational activities, and conducts service projects throughout NW Arkansas.

The Club meets every Thursday in Riordan Hall in Bella Vista, beginning at 9 a.m. for a social hour followed by a meeting from 10 to 11 a.m.

Spring Appliance Pickup Planned For Second Week in April

Mon, February 27, 2017 | POA News

Residents asked to call in advance to sign up for pickup

BELLA VISTA, Ark. – Republic Services will offer a spring appliance pickup free of charge to Bella Vista residents with accounts in good standing during the week of April 10.

Residents should call Republic prior to the week of pickup to sign up. Sign-ups will be accepted starting Monday, March 27.

Items should be placed at the curb by 6 a.m. Monday, April 10, regardless of individual pickup days. Depending on the number of participants, pickup could take a few days.

Refrigerators or other items that use Freon will be accepted if the Freon has been professionally evacuated and tagged.

Call 800-431-1507 to sign up or with any questions.

Look for Your Water Rebate!

Mon, February 27, 2017 | Member Services, POA News

Eligible Water Customers to Receive a $20 Credit!

As a way of saying “Thank You” to our valued customers, the Bella Vista POA Water Utility is issuing a $20 rebate. This rebate will be credited on the water bill customers receive in March.  This rebate is possible due to efficiencies within the Water Utility Department, which resulted in a surplus of funds over budget in 2016.

We are pleased to share our success with you.

To qualify for this rebate, you must be the owner of record on 12/31/16 and remain the owner of record as of 2/27/17.

Because Bella Vista POA Water Utility must operate completely separate from the rest of the POA, the surplus funds could not be applied to any of the many other needed improvements within the POA.