Intensive Stocking of Striped Bass to Restructure a Gizzard Shad Population in a Eutrophic Texas Reservoir

Buffalo Springs Reservoir is highly eutrophic with a dense population of large gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and limited production of young gizzard shad. Fingerling (40 mm total length) striped bass (Morone saxatilis) were stocked into Buffalo Springs Reservoir in 1992 and 1993 at a rate of 550/ha to restructure the gizzard shad population. Three to 4 years after these stockings, density of large gizzard shad declined and a strong gizzard shad year class was produced. White crappie (Pomoxis annularis) recruitment paralleled gizzard shad recruitment. White crappie growth declined during 1991-1995 when age-0 gizzard shad were scarce or absent but increased in 1997, presumably a result of the abundant forage provided by the 1996 gizzard shad year class. No clear effects on largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) or bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) growth were apparent, but relative abundance of both species increased.

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