Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program
In the mid-1970s, non-native Smallmouth Bass were introduced into the Guadalupe River as an additional sport fish, and an alternative to our native Guadalupe Bass. Then something unintended happened.
Even though they look very different, the problem is, they can’t tell each other apart. Evidentially, they act similar enough, behaviorally, that they’ll reproduce, and they have hybrids.
Dr. Gary Garrett is a biologist at Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center in Kerrville. The hybrid offspring of these two species started to outnumber pure Guadalupe bass. For the past thirteen years — and with support from the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, http://www.ugra.org/, and the Hill Country Fly Fishers, http://www.hillcountryflyfishers.com/, researchers at Heart of the Hills have worked to reverse this trend.
We’re raising thousands of pure Guadalupe Bass here at the research station. And every year we stock them back into nature. Basically what we’re doing is replacing the hybrids that are out there with the pure Guadalupe Bass. And we’ll let nature takes its course from there. Here in Johnson Creek, where we began the study, about thirty percent of the fish were hybrids. And that wasn’t stable. It was still increasing when we started. It’s now down to around three percent, which is excellent. Now we want to go from three to zero.
Dr. Garrett says fish will be released in May and June.
That’s our show…we had help from Tom Harvey… our series receives support from the Sport Fish Restoration program, which funds research at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center…
For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti