Largemouth bass research hits a snag

The Dallas Morning News –

A largemouth bass tracking study launched in November on Toledo Bend Reservoir by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department inland fisheries biologists has hit a bump in the road that has scientists looking for ways to get their research back on course.

The two-year radio telemetry study was put in motion to learn more about how the popular sport fish react to fishing pressure and position in the water during varied conditions and changing seasons. Angler concerns over increasingly tough fishing witnessed on the Texas-Louisiana border lake in recent times helped spur the notion to move forward with the study.

Scientists say the project took an unexpected turn in the wrong direction when the first batch of study fish — 26 in all — died within about two weeks after the research got underway.

The 2- to 5-pound study bass were collected from 62-degree water in the Housen Bay area of the lake using the same electrofishing equipment fisheries managers rely on for conducting routine population surveys. Electrofishing temporarily stuns the fish and they float to the surface so they can be netted and individually evaluated.

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