The Establishment of Spotted Bass Fisheries in Some Northern Missouri Streams

Spotted bass were propagated and stocked by the Missouri Deparbnent of Conservation into 16 northern and central Missouri streams to establish spotted bass fisheries. Until recently, spotted bass in Missouri, were confined to the southern half of Missouri primarily in the lower reaches of large streams. A review of spotted bass habitat requirements as detennined by earlier studies indicated that spotted bass might thrive in some ofthe northern Missouri streams which are too silty or turbid for the other black basses. Seining and electro-fishing were used to determine the degree of success of these introductions. As a result of stocking more than 28,000 spotted bass fingerlings (1.2-5.5 inches in length) during the years 1961 through 1968, spotted bass fisheries were established in Lamine and Loutre rivers and Perche and Silver Fork creeks in central Missouri. Reliable reports from conservation agents indicate that fishennen catch substantial numbers ofspotted bass from these streams. Spotted bass apparently did not establish populations in the Grand River, Chariton River and Salt River in northern Missouri. Spotted bass in Sugar Creek, a tributary of Grand River near Trenton, produced at least 2 year-classes of spotted bass and at least 1 year-class ofspotted bass was produced in the Mussell Fork of Chariton River. Grindstone and Big creeks in Daviess counties probably contain several year classes ofspotted bass but only stocked bass were collected by electro-fishing. Spotted bass were able to reproduce and thrive in unaltered streams with stable beds as exemplified by the Lamine and Loutre rivers and Silver Forle Large portions of the watersheds of these rivers are protected by timber, pasture or hay. The Grand and Chariton basins are intensively farmed and most ofthe main stem channels have been channelized. The stream beds are shifting and unstable as a result ofchannelization and sedimentation. Spotted bass apparently were unable to adapt to these conditions. It was recommended that tributaries ofthe larger rivers of north-central and north-western Missouri should be carefully considered for further black bass introductions. Some ofthese smaller streams contain habitat and have water conditions that are apparently ofthe quality required by spotted bass.

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