Evaluation of White Bass X Striped Bass Hybrids in a Hypereutrophic Florida Lake

Fingerling Morone hybrids were stocked into Lake Apopka, Florida, in an attempt to create a sportfishery in the hypereutrophic lake. The lake was stocked with 635,000 original hybrids (8 fish/ha) in May, 1980 and 315,000 original hybrids (4 fish/ha) in May, 1981. Growth during their first year (age 0) was not rapid for either year class, however, by 23 months the mean total length of the 1980 year class was comparable to that of other hybrids in Florida and the southeast. Analysis of stomach contents indicated extensive use of shad (Dorosoma spp.), although grass shrimp (Palaemonidae) comprised a large part of the stomach contents of hybrids 292 mm total length and smaller. Enthusiastically accepted by anglers, a successful but localized put-grow-and-take sportfishery was created.

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