15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

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WB Staff
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15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby WB Staff » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:41 pm

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Largemouth bass fishing this spring was notable in Oklahoma, as anglers hauled in several lunkers in the 13- and 14-pound classes. Those monster fish undoubtedly resulted from previous stocking efforts of Florida largemouth bass (FLMB) to increase the trophy potential in Oklahoma’s bass populations, said Cliff Sager, Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The FLMB program is among several fish stocking operations that the Wildlife Department conducts each year, including channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, rainbow and brown trout, walleye, saugeye, striped bass and hybrid sunfish.

The Fisheries Division has stocked more than 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters in Oklahoma so far during 2018. Among that total are more than 1.4 million FLMB that have been placed into 39 lakes this year.

Oklahoma's current state-record largemouth bass was caught in Cedar Lake (Le Flore County) in March 2013 and weighed 14 pounds, 13.7 ounces. “Oklahoma is really right on the line of where you can expect Florida bass to be successful,” Sager said. “Lakes in the southern half of Oklahoma have shown much greater success in sustaining Florida bass genetics.”

All of the Florida bass that the Department stocks are spawned at the Durant fish hatchery. Most of the fish are raised there, but some of the fry are distributed to state hatcheries in Byron and Holdenville for growing into fingerlings. The state's fourth hatchery at Medicine Park gets involved by helping to deliver FLMB fry and fingerlings to the various lakes for stocking.

“It truly is a coordinated effort to raise and stock that many fish over a short period of time and speaks to the dedication of the Wildlife Department to improve our fisheries resources,” Sager said.

A committee of biologists selects FLMB stocking sites each year based on many criteria. The committee considers the documented success in trophy bass production, as well as angler pressure. Also, lakes with better habitat for bass are more likely to be stocked than lakes where good bass habitat doesn’t exist. Sager said growing trophy bass in a particular lake “is an eight- to 10-year investment.” Therefore, the Wildlife Department concentrates FLMB efforts on the waters that hold the most promise for producing trophy bass.

Since the first of this year, the Wildlife Department has stocked 3,127,834 fingerlings, 12,395,494 fry and 175,027 mature fish of various species into public waters across Oklahoma. Totals for each species are:

Walleye, 6,302,780.
Saugeye, 3,099,164.
Hybrid Striped Bass, 4,318,454.
Certified Florida Largemouth Bass, 1,418,466.
Striped Bass, 360,000.
Rainbow Trout, 133,072.
Northern Largemouth Bass, 20,246.
Brown Trout, 7,012.
Hybrid Sunfish, 3,670.
Smallmouth Bass, 2,820.
Threadfin Shad, 2,600.
To see a list of the 39 lakes stocked with FLMB this year, go to https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/fish ... ch/surveys and click on “2018 Florida Largemouth Bass Stocking Report.” To see a summary of all stocking efforts, detailing where fish have been stocked this year, go to https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/fish ... ch/surveys and click on “2018 Fish Stocking Report.”

The Department’s Florida Largemouth Bass stocking program was the focus of a yearlong series of feature articles in "Outdoor Oklahoma" magazine and for a TV episode of “Outdoor Oklahoma.” Titled "Making Monsters!" this feature series detailed how the Florida bass stocking program works from beginning to end, and explains how this effort is helping to produce state-record trophy bass for the anglers of Oklahoma. To read the series or view the TV show, go to http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/MakingMonsters. To subscribe to "Outdoor Oklahoma" for only $10 per year, go to http://www.tinyurl.com/OutdoorOklahoma or call (800) 777-0019.

MichaelB
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby MichaelB » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:13 am

Great job Oklahoma !
While in California, our politicians would be trying to kill off most of these fish as a "non native, invasive species"

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Turkeyman
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby Turkeyman » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:55 pm

And their fishing license is probably less than $20

WRB
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby WRB » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:19 am

How long has it been since a California lake was stocked with first generation Florida strain LMB?
My guess might be DVL, if those bass were direct from Florida in lieu of transplanted from existing California FLMB introduced in 1959!
Tom

Kwin
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby Kwin » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:13 pm

:roll: Reliance upon stocking species that can reproduce naturally is poor fisheries management.

WRB
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby WRB » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:54 pm

Kwin wrote::roll: Reliance upon stocking species that can reproduce naturally is poor fisheries management.

Texas successful Share A Lunker program vs Califorina's hands off management. If it wasn't for Oriville Ball California would have only the NLMB introduced in1890.
Tom

MGJR
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby MGJR » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:05 am

Well...there are both studies that suggest programs like share a lunker are hugely successful, and some that don't indicate much of a measurable difference. I'm truthfully on the fence on the issue - while I like to see efforts going to improve sport fishing and increasing the potential for trophy fish in a fishery, much of that is largely possible naturally with good fisheries management and natural recruitment (plus we get better genetic diversity to withstand environmental changes). I mean, how many trophy fisheries do we have in CA - yet no share a lunker program? Its almost like catching a glorified planter trout, right? :shock:

While I respect the efforts of programs like those trying to plant LMB into Oroville - they have not, and will not be successful. It is a spotted bass fishery, with some largemouth, that is managed for water, not fisheries.

If anything boys and girls - if we want more "trophy" fish, we should probably start keeping and weeding out some of the littles! But remember - don't consume more than your limit of mercury! Don't forget either - fisheries go through cycles, we cannot expect a fishery to always be "prime." I think we are actually quite fortunate -

https://www.westernbass.com/article/why ... ia-anglers

WRB
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Re: 15.5 million fry, fingerlings and mature fish into public waters

Postby WRB » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:50 pm

Bass fishing owes Orville Ball and biologist Larry Bothroff a great deal for thier experiment of transplanting and managing the initial Florida strain largemouth bass into San Diego's city lakes.
The goal of increasing the average size bass caught per man hour of fishing wasn't achieved and the project a failure, the FLMB were more difficult to catch then thier northern cousins.
After a decade it was obvious the FLMB grew twice the size of NLMB and evrything changes.
I was lucky enough to be at the beginning of the FLMB program and benefited as these special bass where introduced around the state. It's hard to put into words the boom periods most of SoCals famous bass lakes experienced.
I logged 100 DD bass from the San Diego lakes mostly using live bait by 1971 and changed to lure only fishing. Lakes Castiac and Castias became the boom lakes in the early 80's to mid 90's with lake Isabella in Central Cal producing some gaints during that time period, logging 58 bass 15 lbs or heavier, 5 over 17 lbs, releasing every DD bass caught. Looking back I didn't think the boom periods would bust, but they did from lack of good fishery management, severe droughts and extreme fishing pressure.
Rejeniating the vigor of FLMB in California lakes by restocking would be very helpful.
Tom


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