The Largemouth Bass Catch-and-release Regulation at a New Reservoir, Purtis Creek State Park Lake, Texas

In November 1988, Purtis Creek State Park Lake opened to public fishing with a catch-and-release regulation for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). The objective of the regulation was to prevent initial overharvest and provide a quality fishery under high anticipated fishing pressure. The fishery was evaluated using spring electrofishing and annual creel surveys. No illegal bass harvest was observed during creel surveys. The proportion of bass ≥356 mm declined and PSD shifted from >80 into the 40-70 range within 2 years. This change was likely due to mortality induced by the intense directed fishing pressure (>300 hours/ha in the first 9 months). Directed fishing pressure in the spring quarters of 1989 and 1991 exceeded 100 hours/ha. The largemouth bass population sustained annual angler catch rates of 0.31-0.55 fish/hour. More than one third of all anglers rated their fishing as good or very good.

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