Bass Management for Better Fishing, Pond Management
February 27, 2012 No Comments
Most pond and lake owners want ways to improve their bass fishing. For those looking to grow bigger and better bass, your ship may have come in. Private bass pond managers will get a behind-the scenes look at how Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) inland fisheries biologists monitor fish populations and care for trophy bass at a statewide symposium set for March 23—24, 2012, at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens.
“There are more than a million private impoundments in the state, many of which could be used for increased recreation through bass fishing with better management,” said Dr. Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension wildlife and fisheries specialist. “As many landowners have learned, you just don’t stock a pond or lake with largemouth bass and automatically get trophy-size fish.”
Growing big fish takes top management techniques, which can be learned at “Bass Tech: The Technology to Manage for Success.” Participants may register online at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu (enter the keyword “bass”) or by calling (979) 845-2604. There is a fee for attendance.
In addition to session presentations, attendees will learn about conducing fish surveys. Attendees will be able to observe a TPWD fisheries management crew electrofish on Lake Athens and demonstrate how to obtain and record data necessary for managing a bass population.
Also included will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the Toyota ShareLunker holding facility at TFFC. The “Lunker Bunker” is where bass weighing 13 pounds or more are cared for and spawned as part of a selective breeding program. This tour will take place from 3—5 p.m. March 23.
Session presentations March 24 will include Basic Pond Ecology, Water Quality, Pond Fertilization, Do-It-Yourself Fish Population Assessment and Corrective Stockings, Better Bass Fishing Through Genetics, Trophy Bass Management, Identifying and Controlling Nuisance Wildlife, Aquatic Weed Identification and Control, and Aging Largemouth Bass Using Otoliths.
Instructors will talk about fish and lake management and include wildlife and fisheries experts with AgriLife Extension, TPWD and American Sport Fish Hatchery, a southeastern U.S. stocking and pond maintenance service. A similar symposium was held in 2008. “The main difference this year is that we’ve trimmed some topics based on participant evaluations,” Higginbotham said. “The one-day program means participants won’t have to go to the expense and trouble of spending the night if they don’t want to.”
Registration for the pond management class will be from 7-8 a.m. on March 24. The symposium will conclude at 5 p.m. A catered lunch and break refreshments are included in the registration fee. In addition, each registrant will receive a CD of the proceedings, speaker notes and a copy of Higginbotham’s “Wildlife and Fish Management Calendar.” The TFFC is four miles east of Athens and 75 miles southeast of Dallas.