Southern Arkansas reservoir largemouth bass populations (Micropterus salmoides) are often supplemented with stocks of Florida bass (M. floridanus) in an attempt to boost the frequency of hybrid and trophy bass. Stocking rates of Florida bass among these lakes are highly variable. We determined bass phenotype composition among 12 lake populations based upon stocking protocols: exclusively Florida bass, primarily Florida bass, mixed stocking protocol and primarily largemouth bass. We also compared condition among phenotypes (n =2,100) to test for hybrid or phenotype vigor. Mean relative weight of bass for most lakes but SWEPCO Lake (mean Wr = 72) were ≥ 90. Phenotype frequencies were inconsistent with FB stocking histories. No lake population was comprised only with pure Florida bass despite four of the lakes being stocked solely with this bass species. Numbers of F1 hybrid bass were low for all lake samples. Relative weight among phenotypes was also inconsistent among lake samples, allowing no conclusions to be made regarding relative weight and hybrid vigor or phenotype. Further testing increasing both the number of lake samples and sample size within lakes may provide insight into these questions of stocking effectiveness of Florida bass and hybrid or phenotype vigor.

Included in

Zoology Commons