Evaluation of Marone Hybrids in a Small, Shallow, Warmwater Impoundment

Fingerling Morone hybrids were stocked into Storm Creek Lake, Phillips County, Arkansas, to control a nuisance gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) population and diversify the sport fishery. The lake, a 169.7-ha shallow, warmwater impoundment, was stocked with 31,000 hybrids during a 4-year period (1982, 1984, 1985, and 1987). Growth during their first 3 years was rapid (age 1-325 mm; age 11-428 mm; age III-591 mm). Number of age IV fish (602 mm) declined over time. Due to high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen levels, and shallow nature of the lake, hybrid populations were not concentrated in deep, aerated areas, but were dispersed in shallow coves over the entire lake during summer and fall. Observation of hybrid stomach contents indicated use of shad (Dorosoma spp.) ranging in size from 178 to 229 mm. Population levels of young of the year and adult largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were not affected by the introduction of Morone hybrids. The introduction of hybrids into Storm Creek Lake has diversified the fishery, supplied local anglers with a large, fast-growing species, and demonstrated that hybrids can be successfully stocked in a small impoundment if a shad forage base is available.

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