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Big Bass Retire to Little Lake
ATHENS—What happens to a big bass after it spends 10 or so years at a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hatchery making little bass to be stocked into Texas lakes?
Fittingly, after rendering noble service to Texas anglers by producing untold thousands of fish, the big bass get to retire to a lake to live out the rest of their lives.
About 100 retired largemouth bass brooders from the A.E. Wood State Fish Hatchery in San Marcos made a 5.5-hour trip to Lake Moss outside Gainesville June 23 in the care of TPWD fisheries technician Mike Pereira. “These fish are from the class of 1996,” Pereira said. “They are 14 years old, and typically their egg production decreases as they age.”
Largemouth bass are believed to live up to 20 years, so the fish have several years to enjoy retirement and perhaps make more little bass in Lake Moss. Since the fish were all pure Florida largemouth bass, the stocking will improve the genetics of the fish in the lake, which are already good—the lake record largemouth weighed 13.25 pounds. Lake Moss was last stocked with Florida largemouth bass in 1982.
Lake Moss is an 1,140-acre impoundment on North and South Fish Creeks in Cooke County north of Gainesville. The City of Gainesville maintains two boat ramps on the lake and charges $35 for an annual boat permit. For more information on the lake, contact the city of Gainesville at (940) 668-4500.
The fishing in Lake Moss is managed by biologists from TPWD’s District 2A Inland Fisheries office located near Pottsboro. Lakes managed out of this office include Texoma, Bridgeport, Lavon, Nocona and Ray Roberts as well several smaller reservoirs.
“Our electrofishing survey in 2006 showed Lake Moss had an extremely high population of largemouth bass, but most were under the legal limit of 14 inches,” said TPWD fisheries biologist Bruce Hysmith. “The stocking of these large brooders should give anglers the opportunity to catch some really nice bass. Too, the offspring from these fish should in time impact the overall largemouth bass population structure.”
Translation: The fishing is about to get better in Lake Moss. These fish may be retired, but they are still working to make fishing better.
For information on fishing and water-related issues in Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Hunt, Collin, Wise and Parker counties, visit the District 2A office on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Parks-and-Wildlife-Inland-Fisheries-District-2A/127480703935872?v=wall&ref=ts.
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