The goal of this study was to develop management strategies that maximize growth, recruitment, and harvest of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides in Illinois impoundments. Largemouth bass are frequently stocked in many Illinois impoundments to compensate for variable recruitment. Even so, the long-term contribution of stocked fish to recruitment and harvest of natural bass populations is unknown and we addressed these questions. In addition, information on the importance of rearing technique, size of stocked fish, forage base, cover, resident predators, physical-chemical conditions, and stocking stress in determining largemouth bass stocking success is needed to optimize use of hatchery produced fish. Because stocking is only one of several management options for this species, it is critical that additional information on factors limiting recruitment processes be identified.
|INHS Technical Report 2012 (35)