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Virginia to Stock More Largemouths...

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Virginia to Stock More Largemouths into Back Bay
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), is entering year 2 of a planned 3-year largemouth bass stocking project on Back Bay. The project plan calls for stocking 125,000, 2 inch fingerling largemouth bass each year for 3 years. While stocking is scheduled to occur in 2012 - 2014, assessment will continue for at least 2 years, and up to 4 years, after each year's stocking effort to determine the survival of stocked fish and any impacts on the adult bass population and fishery.

The Department has developed specific criteria for stocking largemouth over existing bass populations, and the situation in Back Bay meets these criteria. Specifically, Back Bay has undergone dramatic habitat improvement over the past several years in the form of expanding submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) coverage. With improving habitat in the bay proper, and the relict largemouth population being almost exclusively relegated to western tributaries and little or no connectivity to this improving habitat, the goal of stocking is to give the bass population a jump start. Primary project objective: a quicker recovery of this once world-class largemouth bass fishery. Back Bay was noted in the late 1970s as one of the top trophy bass fisheries in the nation. This outstanding bass fishery peaked in 1980, when 240 citation-sized largemouth bass (bass that weighed at least 8 pounds) were reported to be caught in the bay.

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