Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program
Biologists at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center in Kerrville for the past thirteen years have worked to reestablish the Guadalupe Bass, which had experienced a significant population decline.
It has two different problems it’s facing throughout its range. One is just habitat loss – which a lot of animals face. Here, and in most of the places it occurs, that’s not nearly as much of a problem as hybridization with the smallmouth bass.
Dr. Gary Garrett is a fisheries biologist at Heart of the Hills. The Guadalupe bass occurs only in the Texas Hill Country, in the headwaters of the streams that drain the Edwards Plateau. Smallmouth bass, introduced to these waters in the mid-1970s to provide additional sport fish for anglers, hybridized with the native species.
So, they’re not as well adapted for their environment. They may do well in the short run, but in the long haul they’re really not going to be as good a species.
Efforts to restore the Guadalupe bass population began with a study of Johnson Creek.
Here in Johnson Creek where we began the study, we started with about thirty percent of the fish were hybrids –and that wasn’t stable – it was still increasing when we started.
The prognosis for the state fish of Texas is excellent. And we’ll tell you about it tomorrow.
That’s our show for today…supported by 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