Introduction of Florida largemouth bass a success

December 10, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A project to introduce Florida largemouth bass into Chickamauga Lake has been more successful than researchers originally hoped.

The goal was to mix the southern strain of largemouth bass with Tennessee's native northern bass.

This past spring, the agency took genetic samples from 50 trophy-sized largemouth and found all the fish showed a mix of genes.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association Fisheries Division Chief Bobby Wilson said researchers had hoped to increase the percentage of Florida bass genes to 15 percent. Instead, it has reached around 45 percent.

Wilson said the stockings have led to a significant increase in the number of larger bass in the lake.

But despite the success at Chickamauga, Wilson said there are limits on how many fish the agency can stock in other bodies of water.