Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a common predator and popular sport fish in tidal freshwater streams and lakes of North America. Tidal freshwater streams of Chesapeake Bay watershed, the largest estuary of the United States, differ remarkably in availability of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and suitability for spawning habitat for M. salmoides. After scoring nursery habitat attributes of size and habitat quality, I combined scores to form indices for 141 nursery habitats of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Average index for nursery habitat quality was positively related to the relative abundance of juvenile M. salmoides. For two important coastal fisheries for M. salmoides, over half of highly indexed nursery habitats were expected to be negatively impacted by projected sea level rise (SLR). Innovative strategies aimed at conserving populations of M. salmoides may include identifying habitats vulnerable to such long-term habitat changes and either protecting important habitats or managing future expectations for these populations.
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