Archive for February 10th, 2010

Guadalupe Bass–Solving the Hybrid Problem

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

For more than a decade, researchers at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center in Kerrville have battled the hybrid progeny of Guadalupe bass—the state fish of Texas—and the introduced Smallmouth bass.

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 these pure Guadalupe bass. And we’ll let nature take its course form there.

That’s Gary Garrett, who initiated the Guadalupe bass recovery program. The fish exists only in the Texas Hill Country—in the headwaters of streams that drain the Edward’s Plateau.

Shortly after non-native smallmouth bass were introduced to Texas waters, they bred with native bass, resulting in an explosion of hybrids. But using a technique called “saturation stocking,” Garrett and his crew have made exceptional progress.

So far we’re seeing here in Johnson Creek, where we began eh study, we started where 30 percent of the fish were hybrids. And that wasn’t stable—it was still increasing when we started. It is now down to around three percent. Which is excellent! Top go from thirty to three is great. Now we want to go from three to zero.

And Garrett expects to reach zero in the next four to five years.

That’s our show… we receive support from the SF Restoration program…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.