This is Passport to Texas
The Toyota Sharelunker program is in full swing.
It’s an angler recognition program and it’s a selective breeding program.
Kyle Brookshear coordinates the program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. For the past 30 years, anglers who reeled in 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass, caught legally in Texas waters, could donate their fish to the program.
We bring that fish back to the Texas freshwater Fisheries center in Athens and then attempt to spawn that fish. Once the fish is successfully spawned, we return the fish to the angler. The angler releases the fish back to the reservoir [where it was caught]. We will raise those fry up, and then stock them back into the public waters of Texas.
By breeding the big bass Texas Parks and Wildlife creates a better bass fishery in Texas with more potential for trophy fish. New this season, only largemouth bass caught between January and March may be entered into the breeding program.
Through our analysis, we’ve determined that not only do we get more candidates during that time, but those candidates actually do spawn successfully.
Brookshear says fish caught outside this window may still be certified as a sharelunker, and then released back into the reservoir. Anglers who have lunkers accepted into the Toyota Sharelunker program receive a fiberglass replica of their fish.
The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series and helps fund the operation of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens.
For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.