PORT ARTHUR —
The fishing was controlled. For example, anglers had to reserve times, and every fish that was caught was put into a live well on the boat. The fish were measured and tagged to keep track of how many times each fish had been caught. All fish were then released.
"We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record there were thousands of captures," said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher in a statement published by UI.
"Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year."
Then after four years, the pond was drained, and more than 1,700 fish were collected.
"Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years.”
A few years ago I wrote about the fact Florida largemouth bass seem to be more elusive than our native strain of northern largemouth and how scientists in Texas have uncovered other genetic secrets.
This was from a study conducted by Gary P. Garett of TPWD’s Heart of the Hills Research Station.
“Two generations of selective breeding for vulnerability to angling in largemouth bass Micropterus sallnoides revealed that this trait is heritable. Fish selectively bred for angling vulnerability were more likely to be caught multiple times than were those bred for wariness,” Garrett wrote.
“…analysis showed the trait was associated with subspecific differences and that northern largemouth bass were innately easier to catch than were hybrids between Florida bass and largemouth bass. These differences will be exploited by fishery managers in a Texas reservoir with a goal of providing high catch rates and trophy potential in largemouth bass.”