Effects of Minimum Length Limits on Smallmouth Bass in Meredith Reservoir, Texas

The minimum length limit for smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in Meredith Reservoir, Texas, was increased from 254- to 305-mm TL in 1986 and to 356 mm TL in 1988. Population assessments indicated these limits contributed to an abundance of 178- to 280-mm bass which displayed low condition indices and slow growth. Angler catch rates of smallmouth bass increased but harvest rates and yield decreased following implementation of length limits. A 305- to 381-mm slot length limit was recommended to improve population structure and increase growth, condition, and harvest.

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