Florida Import Gives Boost To Bass In Nearby Lakes
Three Oklahoma lakes have recently received a boost to the largemouth bass population.
“This year approximately 130 pure strain Florida largemouth bass were placed into three different lakes across Oklahoma: Greenleaf, Bull Lake (Vinita) and Lone Chimney Lake (Glencoe).
Greenleaf Lake received 54 of these,” said Jon West, ODWC fisheries biologist.
“These brooders are 8 years old and should have some more spawns left in them to contribute their Floridian growth potential to some future bass generations.”
Florida largemouth bass tend to grow much larger than our native bass seen in area lakes.
Typically, a native bass is more resistant to cold temperatures.
Florida strain bass usually thrive below I-40, except for Taft Lake.
It was great to receive these adult brood fish in the areas normally not known for the Florida strain of largemouth bass.
I’ve caught a few of them in southern Oklahoma, Texas and Old Mexico (Lake Guerrero). Many of the top Oklahoma state bass record fish were of the Florida variety.
Florida bass stockings are investments in lakes that have the right qualities to return trophy largemouth after eight to ten years of growth.
Patience is required in growing large fish and the dividends of previous actions are usually not realized for many years.
Post-stocking evaluations of Florida bass are conducted using genetic testing of a non-lethal fin clip.
These are taken a year after the fish are stocked and also taken on any trophy (8-pound) fish that are reported to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation personnel.
The retirement of this number of Florida brooders is not an annual event and only happens when a large-enough cohort of these fish survive long enough and need to be taken out of the hatchery system due to feed and space constraints.
The space created by relocating these fish will be occupied by more productive three to five-year old fish, who are also more hardy and survive the handling that occurs throughout its life on the hatchery.
This stocking is possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Durant State Fish Hatchery personnel.
It is hoped that, as a result of the stocking program, the Floridas will be fruitful and multiply.