L.D.W.F. Stocks New Orleans City Park With Florida Largemouth Bass
This week the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Office of Fisheries stocked a total of 252 adult Florida largemouth bass into the New Orleans City Park lagoon system.
These fish had previously been used as brood stock at the LDWF Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery in Forest Hill to produce fingerlings for distribution in public water bodies throughout the state. Typically, after several years the brood fish become less productive and are stocked in public waters to provide fishing opportunities for anglers.
“These fish were stocked in City Park to help control the invasive Rio Grande cichlid population in the lagoon system,” said LDWF Fisheries Biologist Melissa Kaintz “Our goal was to increase the number of adult largemouth bass, a predator species, to help thin out the cichlid population. Rio Grande cichlids or “Texas Blues” compete with largemouth bass for spawning habitat and have been known to feed on their eggs. In addition, they compete with other native fishes for available prey such as insects and other small fish.”
LDWF, with assistance from the University of New Orleans and Louisiana Sea Grant, was able to measure, weigh and tag all 252 largemouth bass before releasing them into the lagoons. This will enable biologists to collect valuable data related to survival, growth and catch rates as well as stocking efficiency.
LDWF also expects this stocking effort to provide great fishing opportunities for participants in the New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo this Saturday, March 28, 2009.
“We invite everyone to come out and participate in the rodeo and the Fishtival where the agency’s Outreach and Assessment Division and the Enforcement Division will have booths set up,” Kaintz said. “Participants will be able to learn how to identify common fish species, age fish and tag fish.”
LDWF continues to encourage people to take advantage of the great urban fishery that New Orleans City Park has to offer