Lake Ouachita Black Bass

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Shoreline Seining revealed that there was a fantastic largemouth bass spawn on Lake Ouachita this year (2015). Seining revealed high numbers of natural spawn at most sample stations. Some of the young bass from April spawn had already obtained nearly 2 ¾ inches. The young bass were in excellent condition. Appears there was some early spawning on Lake Ouachita despite the extended cool weather.
Also noted was some late spawn with young barely 1-inch in length.

Note from AGFC:
Keep in mind natural largemouth bass spawn will exceed any supplemental bass stocking we can do from our hatchery system.
It’s not essential that every year has a great natural largemouth bass spawn for our area lakes.
The good years will lend themselves to strong year-classes.
With this in mind, looks like there is potential for a strong 2015 year-class on Lake Ouachita.

Lake Ouachita Black Bass fishing was picked by Field & Stream magazine in the May 2006 issue as one of the best lakes in the country to catch Large Mouth Bass. The article lists Lake Ouachita as #28 among the top 35 places in the country for  "unbelievable Black bass fishing."

March 10, 2012 Bassmaster Article http://www.bassmaster.com/news/100-best-bass-lakes100 Best Bass Lakes listed Lake Ouachita #28 as one of the country's Top 100 Bass Lakes

AGFC BLACK BASS BIOLOGIST
Colton Dennis
cdennis@agfc.state.ar.us
Colton Dennis

8 pound Lake Ouachita Black Bass that was released.10 pound Lake Ouachita Bass released.Lake Ouachita 6 pound largemouth<

A live-release boat is available by the AG&FC for Lake Ouachita to assist Black Bass tournaments in live-release re-distribution.

Alabama Rigs on lake Ouachita Bass.

Lake Ouachita Black Bass Articles

6/14/2010 -  Stuart Wooldridge

The Arkansas game and fish commission recently finished seine sampling young largemouth bass from the 2010 Spring's spawn around Lake Ouachita. These young bass ranged in size from one to two inches long.

Some were so small they indicated a May spawn, in addition to the April spawn. We have seen this before on Lake Ouachita. Some of the higher catches were recorded in the South Fork arm of the lake and the Hwy. 27 area.

Irons Fork Creek area had some very young bass in good numbers. AGFC Fisheries biologist Brett Hobbs even caught a 4.5 inch smallmouth bass in the Spillway area near the swim site. This fish was too big to be one of our recent stocked fingerlings.

High water we have currently should give young bass some protective nursery cover thru June and allow them to grow large enough to tackle small minnows, shad, and bream.

6/3/2010 Stuart Wooldridge, AGFC fisheries biologist

Lake Ouachita was stocked with 96,000 florida largemouth bass fingerlings last week in the Rabbittail / Buckville area.    From AGFC Hatcheries.Northern "native" largemouth bass fingerlings (61,800) were stocked in the Crystal Springs / Pollard Creek area last Friday.

7/15/2004: Stuart Wooldridge, AGFC fisheries biologist

Black Bass Fingerlings raised by the Arkansas Game And Fish Commission.AGFC released larger size black bass fingerlings in Lake Ouachita which gives them a higher survival rate.
“Those fish will be able to take on anything they want,” Wooldridge said. “In the nursery pond the fingerlings grow to a bigger size since we are able to provide them with more food. The fingerlings were fed a diet of fathead minnows, young bream and young shad until they depleted them,
The fingerlings were then drained into the west end of Lake Ouachita from the pond located near Joplin".

The release of the “jumbo” fingerlings was part of a current stocking plan for the lake. Earlier in the summer, Fisheries Division released 104,500 fingerling largemouth bass and 28,000 fingerling smallmouth bass into the east end of the lake. “We were able to hit both sides of the lake, adding to the natural spawn,” Wooldridge said. “But in 2004 we have had a good number of largemouth bass naturally spawned in the lake also.”

Wooldridge said the high waters on the lake this summer have provided good food for the bass and will produce a good year class for fishermen.

While the AGFC usually alternates fish crops in the pond between largemouth bass, walleye, and striped bass fingerlings, next year they will again stock the nursery pond with largemouth bass. “The pond will fill up with rainfall runoff over the winter and we will stock it with minnows and shad in the spring,” he said.

The nursery pond will then have smaller fingerling largemouth bass stocked into it in May 2005 from other commission hatcheries. “The fingerlings will feed and grow large enough during the summer to fend for themselves when they are released directly into the lake,” Wooldridge said.

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