Some Relationships Between Food Habits and Growth of Largemouth Bass in Lake Blackshear, Georgia

The food habits and growth of 1,062 largemouth bass. Microplerus salmoides (Lacepede), collected from Lake Blackshear during the period 31 March 1970-19 December 1972 were examined. Mean lengths of bass at Age I, II, III, IV, and V were 106, 253, 350, 418, and 473 mm total length, respectively. Young-od-year and yearling bass showed great variation in growth rates. Threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense (Gunther). and gizzard shad. Dorosoma cepedianum (leSueur). were identified as the most important forage species to bass beginning their piscivorous feeding habits. The great variation in growth of young-of-year bass resulted from the timing of bass reproduction with respect to shad spawning activity. A specific goal and methods for managing largemouth bass are recommended for Lake Blackshear.

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