In my upcoming Port Arthur News and Orange Leader Outdoors Page (Thurs. April 8) I have an exclusive interview with biologist Craig Bonds who explains a lot about what happens not only at Livingston but also other lakes in East Texas.
Here’s a teaser for that article which is a two-part series you can find on the paper’s websites, plus something to foreshadow something we at TF&G are doing this week. You will see results in about 10 days at fishgame.com and let’s just see it involves big bass and video and answers to questions of historic proportions when it comes to largemouths.
Here ya go…
Q: Has TPWD seen increasing overall size on the upper end of bass in Caddo, Livingston and Lake O’ the Pines?
A: We have not observed increases in our data. Livingston is habitat-limited for largemouth bass. It is a main-stem impoundment of the Trinity River and most of the main-lake has experienced significant habitat degradation as the reservoir has aged. The best largemouth bass habitat exists outside the main reservoir and within the backs of feeder creeks. We target these areas when stocking largemouth bass fingerlings. The Livingston Toyota ShareLunker was actually a surprise to us. It just reaffirms our belief that almost any lake in Texas has the potential to produce a 13-pound-plus largemouth bass.
Q: Is it difficult to quantify if a lake is going to produce trophy-sized fish?
A: It is very difficult to evaluate the “upper end” of a bass population. The largest individuals are rare, and under-represented in electro-fishing samples. Electro-fishing effectively samples largemouth bass between 6 and 20 inches. Fish smaller and larger are occasionally collected, but are captured in numbers under-representative of their true abundance. We use fishery-dependent information (i.e., creel surveys, volunteer trophy bass surveys, bass tournament results, Toyota ShareLunker entries, etc.) as a barometer for the “upper end” size category.
The Lake Livingston Sharelunker