Monitoring Trophy Largemouth Bass in Oklahoma Using a Taxidermist Network

A network of cooperating taxidermists provided liver samples for phenotypic determination and scale samples for age and growth analysis of trophy largemouth bass (≥3.6 kg). This network provided data not available through standardized sampling methods. Two hundred fifty-one samples were received from 34 lakes over a 6-year period. Ninety-three percent of these bass contained Florida largemouth bass alleles. Florida largemouth bass and Fl hybrids were generally longer and heavier than northern largemouth bass or Fx phenotypes. Florida largemouth bass had significantly faster mean growth rates than other phenotypes. This study showed that stocking Florida largemouth bass into newly constructed lakes, continuous stockings into known trophy bass lakes, and protection of bass to trophy sizes with restrictive creel and length limit regulations may be necessary management practices to produce, enhance and maintain trophy bass fisheries in Oklahoma.

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