Sunday, September 23, 2018

LSU AgCenter working to make better bass fishing

According to a news release from the LSU AgCenter earlier this week, researchers at the university are working to make a better bass fishing experience for Louisiana anglers. Led by William Kelso, professor of fisheries at the School of Renewable Natural Resources, and Sabrina Taylor, a conservation geneticist in the school, their team is collecting genetic composition of bass samples from across the state.

Since the early 1980s, more than 100 million Florida-strain largemouth bass have been released into state waters. The objective has been to introduce the fast-growth and overall larger size of Florida-strain and hybridize with native Northern-strain largemouth. These hybrid fish produce the real trophies that everyone dreams of catching.

The problem is that Florida bass have not done well in all waters across the state. In fact, some of the most fished waters - such as the Atchafalaya Basin - biologists have found few genetics of the Florida bass despite heavy stockings.

Researchers at LSU - ACSRR are working on a three-year project to determine what type of habitat best suits Florida strain bass. The result will be to effectively target stocking to those specific lakes. Because a lake can either support quality or quantity but seldom both, this would give Louisiana anglers a choice of fishing quality waters (stocked with Floridas) or quantity waters (stocked with Northerns).