COMPARISON OF GROWTH RATES OF ALABAMA BASS (MICROPTERUS HENSHALLI) AMONG THREE NORTH GEORGIA RESERVOIRS ACROSS TWO SAMPLING YEARS**
Alabama bass Micropterus henshalli are an introduced black bass that tends to dominate the sportfish community in many deep highland reservoirs in the southeastern United States. Because the quality of Alabama bass fisheries often vary by location and over time, this study compared the growth of black bass populations among Chatuge, Nottely, and Lanier Reservoirs in northeast Georgia from 2017 and 2020. Samples were collected in the spring via boat electrofish, and otoliths were removed, processed, and analyzed to assign ages to each individual. Using estimated ages and total lengths, a von Bertalanffy growth model was fit for each reservoir and sampling year. A smaller sample size and lack of older individuals hindered model comparison for 2020, but significant differences (P < 0.05) were detected for 2017. Mean growth rates of populations differed between reservoirs with Nottely Reservoir consistently having smaller estimated growth rates and maximum sizes. Chatuge Reservoir is estimated to have Alabama bass reaching a larger maximum size. Observed growth rates were consistent between 2017 and 2020 for each reservoir. Differences in growth between populations might be explained due to composition of Alabama bass allele frequencies in each reservoir. Previous research documented a smaller frequency (30.3 – 87.5%) of Alabama Bass alleles in Nottely Reservoir compared to Chatuge and Lanier Reservoirs (85.7 – 99.8%). Thus, historical stockings of M. henshalli and the similar Spotted Bass M. punctulatus may influence current fisheries due to a reservoir’s genetic legacy, impacting growth and maximum size.
Howell, Elizabeth and Campbell, Thomas Bailey
"COMPARISON OF GROWTH RATES OF ALABAMA BASS (MICROPTERUS HENSHALLI) AMONG THREE NORTH GEORGIA RESERVOIRS ACROSS TWO SAMPLING YEARS**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 79, No. 1, Article 48.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol79/iss1/48