Louisiana to stock larger Florida bass
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries plans to stock fewer, but larger, pure Florida largemouth bass fingerlings into state waters this spring.
Using fewer 2-inch long fingerlings instead of a multitude of fry measuring less than an inch long will insure greater survival rates to adulthood for the bass, biologists say. Crappie, bluegills, bass, catfish and other predators quickly devour many tiny fry stocked into any lake. Stocking larger fish gives the younger bass a better chance to grow large enough to reproduce.
“We think we’re going to get more bass into that natural population in the long run by stocking larger fish because they’ll survive so much better,” said Mike Wood, LDWF inland fisheries director. “Fewer large fingerlings will net a higher survival than a larger number of small fingerlings. Our goal in the long run is to insert these fish into the population, and we feel like we’re able to do that better by starting with larger fingerlings in smaller numbers than lots of very small fish.”
About 2.5 million pure Florida largemouth bass will be stocked into more than 30 Louisiana lakes and rivers in April and May, Wood said. The fish will come from four state hatcheries. Some waterbodies on the list to receive Florida bass fingerlings include Toledo Bend, the Red River, Lake D’Arbonne, Lake Bruin, Caddo Lake and Lake Bistineau among others.