Caught this buffalo in a local stream, not sure on the exact species. Was hoping I could have the experts chime in.
Giveaways/Characteristics that I see:
The lips are much fleshier than the smallmouth buffalo I have caught out of this watershed in the past, not sure how much that means with larger size
Smallmouth (Confirmed) Eye
Unknown Buffalo Eye
I will quote a report I read about buffalo species.
One of the most significant characteristics of a buffalo is their eyes. The smallmouth buffalo have large jet black eyes – almost mesmerizing. I know of no other fish that has such hypnotic eyes. The black buffalo have much smaller eyes than the smallmouth. -Keith Melrose
I know the mouth is open on the second picture, but I will also say the head is much smaller on the smallmouth. The smallmouth weighed about 5 pounds, and this fish was about 8.
The fish I caught today also had a much more cylindrical body than the typical deep shape you'd see from smallmouth.
Lastly, I have seen confirmed black buffalo from this watershed and have even snagged a textbook black in the past.
Any and all input is appreciated.