Fairfield Lake stocked with Toyota Sharelunker offspring

Media Contact: Richard Ott, (903) 566-2161; icle__media__contact">Media Contact: Richard Ott, (903) 566-2161; richard.ott@tpwd.texas.gov

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ATHENS—On November 16 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologists began rebuilding the fishery at Fairfield Lake affected by a serious fish kill in August by stocking 500 largemouth bass up to 16 inches in length into the reservoir.

Fairfield Lake, near the town of the same name on Interstate 45 south of Dallas, has suffered extensive fish kills the past three years, including August 2010.

“The kills are the result of low oxygen levels that occur following several days of cloudy weather,” said TPWD fisheries biologist Dr. Richard Ott. “Fairfield Lake is very rich in nutrients, which causes phytoplankton to grow rapidly and produce oxygen during the day. Normally this is enough to keep oxygen levels high enough overnight to keep fish alive, but several days of cloudy weather in a row can cause the oxygen level to drop too low at night, and the fish basically smother.”

The fish stocked into the lake were surplus Toyota ShareLunker offspring that are part of the Operation World Record research program. “These fish are growing so fast that we wanted to selectively remove some of them from the research lake before they outstripped the food supply,” said Allen Forshage, director of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, where the ShareLunker program is housed. “It was great to have a lake nearby that needed stocking; both lakes benefited.”

Anglers will also benefit, since the bass are now living in a public reservoir where anglers can try to catch them.

A video of the stocking and an explanation of the reasons for the fish kills can be viewed at http://www.facebook.com/TPWDIFTyler?ref=ts