Stocking, habitat fueling Toledo Bend big-bass parade

Everything is shaping up to provide another great season of big-bass fishing on Toledo Bend, according to the state biologist charged with overseeing the fishery.

“The bass population is very good at Toledo Bend, and it’s looking like another good year for lunker bass,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Sean Kinney said.

Much of the ongoing success is due to the stocking of  Florida bass. Kinney said the LDWF stocked almost 822,000 2-inch Florida-strain fingerlings in 2014.

“We have a request for similar numbers to be stocked in 2015,” he said.

All told, 26 million Florida bass have been stocked in Toledo Bend through combined efforts of local River Authorities, the LDWF, and the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department, Kinney said.

And sampling shows the effort is really paying off.

“We’ve seen some really good fish during our electrofishing surveys — one measuring 24 ¾ inches long,” Kinney said.

Kinney said the Florida genetics of sampled Toledo Bend bass continues to remain strong at 36 percent.

In fact, Kinney was confident the lake could produce a new state record.

“They are here in this lake and just haven’t been caught yet,” he said.

Kinney also said that the increase in lunker bass catches in Toledo Bend the last couple of years can be tied to an upswing in the quality of the ecosystem of the lake.

“The lower lake levels experienced here in 2011 and 2012 eventually increased the productivity of the lake when it returned to normal levels,” he said.

Reflooded areas were rich and fertile due to newly emergent vegetation, and the newly hardened bottoms became effective spawning sites.

As a result, bass and their prey increased in numbers.

About Chris Berzas 368 Articles
Chris Berzas has fished and hunted in the Bayou State ever since he could hold a rod and shoot a shotgun. Berzas has been a freelancer featured in newspapers, magazines, television and DVDs since 1989.