Subspecies Composition of Angled and Electrofished Largemouth Bass in Texas Reservoirs

Studies assessing whether there are differences in angling susceptibility between northern largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides salmoides (NLMB) and Florida largemouth bass M. s. floridanus, (FLMB) have typically been conducted at small study sites and have produced inconsistent results. Thus it is unclear how these results translate to natural populations, particularly those in large bodies of water. We evaluated the genetic composition (seven microsatellite loci) of angled and electrofished collections of LMB from five Texas reservoirs and related these results to angling susceptibility between these subspecies. In the angled collections, a single reservoir exhibited lower FLMB influence (proportion of FLMB alleles) than was found in the elecrofished collection (Pinkston, P < 0.001). Two populations had fewer non-introgressed FLMB in the angled sample than in the electrofished sample (Pinkston and O. H. Ivie; P = 0.010 and 0.030, respectively). The results were highly dependent on the number of non-introgressed FLMB in the population and, when interpreted in the context of introgression within each reservoir, suggested that non-introgressed FLMB may be more difficult to angle than non-introgressed NLMB and their hybrids. However, the phenotype of reduced angler susceptibility was mitigated by introgression.

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