Stocking Contribution of Fingerling Largemouth Bass in Three Aquatic Vegetation Types in Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas-Louisiana

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks Toledo Bend Reservoir annually with fingerling Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus). Studies suggest that largemouth bass stockings often result in variable and low contributions to cohort abundance. We explored effects of aquatic vegetation on stocking success of fingerling Florida largemouth bass marked with a pelvic fin clip in three species of aquatic vegetation (hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata, coontail Ceratophyllum demersum, and Eurasian watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum) in Toledo Bend Reservoir. Stocking sites received 10,000 fingerlings (mean total length = 35 mm) and consisted of 2 km of contiguous habitat. Study sites were stocked in May-June 2010 (n = 6) and May-June 2013 (n = 5) and sampled with electrofishing at 3 weeks and 20 weeks post-stocking. At 3 weeks post-stocking, contribution of stocked fish ranged from 0-10% across all sites (mean = 3.7%) and no significant differences were detected among the three aquatic vegetation types. We detected no significant differences between total length of stocked and wild fish among the different vegetation types. No stocked fish were collected at 20 weeks post-stocking. Stocking fingerling largemouth bass resulted in low contribution rates that were not affected by vegetation type.

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