DNR evaluates effectiveness of bass stocking with larger fingerling

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Through a partnership with Indiana Bass Federation (IBF), DNR fisheries biologists are starting a research project to evaluate survival rates of stocked largemouth bass in Patoka Lake.

The IBF solicited donations to purchase 3,200 advanced fingerling largemouth bass. More than 900 were stocked in May, and 2,300 are being stocked early this month. All of the stocked bass are tagged with an internal passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag, allowing each fish to be uniquely identifiable by using a scanner.

Research across the central United States has shown stocking fingerling size (2-4 inch) largemouth bass into lakes with self-sustaining bass populations has had limited to no success at improving bass populations. This project is using advanced fingerlings (6-9 inches) to test if these larger fish will survive and grow to the legal minimum length of 15 inches at Patoka Lake.

“Thanks goes out to the Indiana Bass Federation for their fundraising efforts and making this research project possible,” said Dan Carnahan, south region fisheries supervisor. “We look forward to evaluating the results of this survival study.”

DNR will conduct spring and fall electrofishing surveys over the next three years to monitor the stocked and naturally reproduced bass populations to determine if they differ in growth, catch rates, and condition factor. Starting in 2023, DNR will search for PIT tagged bass while monitoring bass tournaments to help determine if the stocking was successful.

For more information about fisheries research and fishing opportunities, visit fishing.IN.gov.

Featured photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

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