Last week was the first sampling trip back out on Ocmulgee PFA this spring for Region IV Fisheries Staff and it didn’t disappoint with Fisheries Biologist Tim Bonvechio and Fisheries Technician Will Lancett sampling a 12 lb., 12 oz., 25.2 inch trophy bass.
Before being quickly released, the fish was measured, weighed, and a genetic clip was taken. The fish was also scanned for a pit tag revealing that this fish was 6 years old. A product of the 2015 original year-class, the fish was hatched and grown out at Bowen’s Mill Fish Hatchery. It was then held at a pond at Ocmulgee PFA an additional year until the lake was ready and before being stocked in March 2017 as a 2 year old fish.
So, what’s the importance of this fish’s history?
This fish shows an excellent average growth rate of well over 2 lbs per year in order to reach it’s current weight of 12.75 lbs by year 6.
How does WRD produce such excellent fish?
Fisheries Management staff selects largemouth bass brood fish from our best largemouth bass populations and spawns them to produce fingerlings that are stocked around the state. Ocmulgee PFA is intensively managed for excellent largemouth bass growth and habitat. When you combine excellent genetics with excellent habitat, you get fast growing bass like this one. Read more about the process from the Largemouth Bass Production and Stocking blog post.
More about Ocmulgee PFA
Ocmulgee PFA offers a 106-acre lake that is intensively managed to provide the optimum environment for anglers. Whether you’re fishing from the bank or from a boat, the lake provides an abundance of crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, white crappie, and redear sunfish. The current lake record stands at 10lbs & 10.56 ounces caught by Orville Newlin back in May 2020. Unbelievably, fisheries staff has now sampled 4 fish that weighed above the current lake record including a 13lb specimen that was caught and released last February. So, a new lake record is out there waiting to be caught.
Ocmulgee PFA is catch and release only. If an angler believes they have caught a trophy largemouth bass in excess of 10lbs, there is a release cage on the floating dock and the hotline numbers are on sign at the cage on the dock.
Want to be the next winner of an Angler Award? Get out there and Go Fish Georgia!