• limnology;
  • North Atlantic Oscillation;
  • recruitment;
  • reproduction;
  • smallmouth bass;
  • temperature


  • 1
    The current study examined the effect of broad-scale climate and individual-specific covariates on nest survival in smallmouth bass over a 20-year period.
  • 2
    Large-scale climate indices [winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and winter El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)] and body size of parental males were important covariates in nest survival along with nest age and a quadratic trend in survival.
  • 3
    We did not find an effect due to a habitat covariate (total effective fetch) or a phenology covariate (degree-days at start of nesting) on nest survival.
  • 4
    Male size in the second half of the nesting season was a more influential covariate on nest success than male size in the first half or throughout the nesting period.
  • 5
    We present evidence showing that winter NAO/ENSO indices establish limnological conditions the following spring that influence thermal stability of the lake during the nesting period.
  • 6
    The combined climate and body size covariates point to nest survival as a function of lagged climate-scale influences on limnology and the individual-scale influence of bioenergetics on the duration of parental care and nest success.