Fish Genetics, 2

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

Great bass fishing in Texas gets better when anglers donate their fish to Parks and Wildlife’s Sharelunker program. Program coordinator, David Campbell.

A Sharelunker is a largemouth bass that weighs 13 pounds or more, legally caught in the state of Texas from private waters and public waters.

Loraine Fries (Fr-EYE-Z) manages the A.E. Wood Genetics Lab in San Marcos. She says geneticists use pieces of fin from donated bass to take DNA “fingerprints.” Information they collect tells them if the fish came from their selective breeding program.

We’re retaining offspring from lunkers, and as they mature and are big enough, we breed them back to other lunkers. And the idea is we are increasing the genetic contribution of lunkers to those offspring.

Florida Largemouth bass, stocked in reservoirs, grow larger than native northern bass, and enhance trophy potential. Geneticist Dijar Lutz-Carrillo (DEE-har luhtz—kah-REE-oh) says, thus far, all donated lunkers have been kin to Florida bass.

All of those fish were either a Florida largemouth bass or a hybrid with Florida largemouth bass influence in the genome. Just using those largest fish, big Florida largemouth bass, and producing fish from them—do those fish get significantly larger than the Florida largemouth bass? And that’s where the fingerprinting comes in.

And possibly where the next world record comes in, too.

That’s our show…supported by a grant from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… working to increase fishing and boating opportunities in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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