Fisheries Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP), with help from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) Park Rangers, recently stocked 75,000 fingerling 3-inches long Florida largemouth bass in Bay Springs Lake. The fish were raised at MDWFP’s Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton. The fish were delivered to the boat ramp, then loaded into aerated livewells and coolers on the COE’s boat and taken to coves with good habitat and dispersed by the Park Rangers.
According to District Fisheries Biologist Jason Olive, transporting the fish to areas with good cover will increase survival of the stocked fish by helping them avoid predation by larger fish. The Florida largemouth bass were stocked to increase the number of trophy-size bass in Bay Springs Lake.
“We can’t stock enough fish in a lake the size of Bay Springs to make a real impact on overall catch rates, but we can introduce these faster growing Florida bass that we think can really increase the number of trophy bass,” commented Olive. This is the third time Florida largemouth bass have been stocked in Bay Springs. The first time was in 1995. One of the largest bass ever caught in Bay Springs, weighing nearly 14 lbs, was caught in 2007, twelve years after that stocking. Biologists believe that fish was one of the survivors of that stocking.