Genetically superior bass stocked into Lake Nacogdoches

ATHENS, TX -Texas Parks and Wildlife Department this week stocked 32,000 six-inch largemouth bass with trophy genes into Lakes Austin and Nacogdoches.

The fish were produced at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens for use in Operation World Record, an on-going research project to determine if fish descended from 13-pound or bigger bass will grow faster and/or bigger than "wild" fish naturally occurring in a reservoir.

Because hatchery production was exceptionally successful, about 33,000 six-inch bass are available in addition to the 27,000 needed for the research project.

"Lake Austin was chosen as one of the sites to stock the excess fish because of its history of producing trophy largemouth bass," said Steve Magnelia, the TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist in charge of the lake. "Seven Budweiser ShareLunkers have come from Lake Austin, and the lake record is 14.35 pounds. Habitat is good on the upper end of the reservoir."

Lake Austin will receive nearly 13,000 fish.

Lake Nacogdoches, a 2,212-acre lake near the city of the same name, will be stocked with about 20,000 fish. "Since our management goal for this lake is to maximize the production of trophy fish, it seems like a good fit for the OWR fish," said Todd Driscoll, the TPWD Inland Fisheries biologist in charge of the lake. "Current vegetative coverage is over 40 percent, so there is ample habitat to ensure stocking survival."

Effective September 1, 2008, only largemouth bass 16 inches or less in length may be harvested by anglers on Lake Nacogdoches. Any bass weighing 13 pounds or more may be donated to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Otherwise, it must be immediately released back into Lake Nacogdoches. These regulations are designed to protect bigger fish and should maximize the impact of the OWR fish on the quality of fishing in Lake Nacogdoches.