Stocking Bass Not Always a Good Idea
For a variety of reasons the stocking of adult fish, including largemouth bass, into an existing fishery is an option considered by pond managers. Is it a good idea? Does it help? What can one expect? It all depends on the situation and goals. In this article we examine the question and a new study. Some interesting facts and results are included, but in the end it's the application of basic principles that we should remember from this article.
The study is titled Economic and Conservation Impacts of Stocking Wild Florida Bass into Large Florida Lakes by Brandon C. Thompson, Wesley F. Porak, Kimberly I. Bon- vechio, Brandon L. Barthel, Micheal S. Allen & Charles M. Adams ill North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 36:3, pgs. 452-464, 2016. These Florida lakes are part of a connected chain. The two lakes in question are both several thousand acres-plus. Each lake has similarities to a pond, and the same basic principles are applicable. The numbers are bigger of course, but there will be some "I should have expected that" results based on your pond experiences. There is also an "Oh no" result that many of you would have anticipated and avoided, but was missed by the experts.
The reasons for stocking adult fish into an existing fishery can be several, including low reproduction/recruitment, change in goals, depletion of a species (imbalance), genetics, and even owner impatience. Yes some of those were present in this study, fishing, low reproduction/recruitment, and the environment. As you read on, keep that last factor in mind. You should watch out for environmental principles (carrying capacity, biomass, or productive potential). Call it what you want, but you can't fool Mother Nature for long.
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