Three Decades of Managing Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleye in Meredith Reservoir, Texas

Management of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), and walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) fisheries in Meredith Reservoir has a long history of challenges addressed by fisheries managers including dramatic water level changes and habitat loss, changes in sampling gear and sampling protocols, changing angler concerns, and limited information. Management philosophy changed from a period of liberal harvest regulations designed to promote maximum harvest to one of more restrictive regulations designed to optimize both fish populations and angler success. As data and analytical tools improved and new information was obtained, regulations gradually became more stringent resulting in improvements in density and size structure of the fish populations and increased opportunities for anglers. Research of basic life history information, species behavioral characteristics, and assessments of length limits have led to improvements in stocking strategies, harvest regulations, and interactions with anglers. Fish populations have improved in Meredith Reservoir through analysis of species-specific long-term data sets, application and evaluation of new management and sampling techniques, sound scientific investigations, and cooperative efforts of anglers.

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