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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Establishment of a Trophy Largemouth Bass Fishery in a Georgia Small Impoundment

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Timothy F. Bonvechio, Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Joseph J. Rydell, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

The low-density stocking of female-only largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), in combination with stocking of forage species and a catch-and-release regulation, provided a trophy fishery at Ocmulgee Public Fishing Area (Bleckley/Pulaski, County, GA). For spring 2012, angling and electrofishing data yielded similar numbers of trophy (> 3.6 kg) bass present. Of the 180 largemouth bass collected with angling and electrofishing, 34.4 % exceeded 3.6 kg and 8.8 % exceeded 4.5 kg. Angler catch rates of trophy largemouth bass were exceptionally high, taking on average only 7.35 angler hours to catch a 3.6 kg fish. Von Bertalanffy growth equations revealed that growth was fast taking female largemouth bass only 3.87 and 5.19 years to reach 457 and 508 mm TL, respectively. Mean relative weight (Wr) average across all size groups was 119. Based on our results, we produced 1 trophy (> 4.5 kg) largemouth bass for every 2.8 ha of reservoir. Despite incidental male introduction, the ratio of females to males was 7.5:1 at the conclusion of this study 8 years later. Although not immune to human error, a program designed to stock only females appears to be a viable option in keeping bass densities low and producing a high number of trophy bass. This option also accommodates anglers that ascribe to a high voluntary release mentality, as it caters to a low recruitment and high growth scenario. KEYWORDS: Female-only, low density, (Micropterus salmoides), trophy largemouth bass

Tuesday November 3, 2015 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST

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