Striped Bass Stocked Into Lake Ouachita
Following the Lake Ouachita management plan the AGFC stocks fingerling sized striped bass (1 – 3 inches) into Lake Ouachita. The AGFC occasionally has access to yearling size striped bass, and some yearling stripers have been stocked into the lake in recent years. The striped bass management plan is to to stock 3-4 fingerlings per surface acre when (Wr) average achieves 95% and length at age 4 is consistently a minimum of 24 inches (about a 6-8 pounds) Forage base considered. Potentially 120,000 to 160,000 stripers.
Using the Lake Ouachita nursery pond to raise Striped Bass fry to fingerling size fish, then releasing them directly into Lake Ouachita which was highly successful in establishing measurable populations of Stripers in Lake Ouachita according to Brett Hobbs – Asst. District Fisheries Biologist, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission has been stopped.
According to some members of the Lake Ouachita Fisheries Advisory Committee the reason the use of the nursery pond was stopped was due to a local Black Bass club using political pressure and influence on the Arkansas Game and Fish commission to serve their selfish, self-centered reasoning all the while turning a blind eye on facts of sound, scientific striped bass research and striped bass studies which is endangering wasting years of money and success the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission had achieved in the Stocking of Striped Bass in Lake Ouachita.
Chuck Dovish narrates video produced by the AGFC with Brett Hobbs detailing the Striped Bass Stocking Program carried out every year in April. Chuck Dovish narrates a video produced by the AGFC with Fisheries Biologist Brett Hobbs detailing the Striped Bass Stocking Program carried out every year in April.
Below are the number of striped bass stocked into Lake Ouachita by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission since 1995.
A point to keep in mind is the survival rate.
Research papers across the nation suggest a 10% to 30% Survival rate.
- 2017 – 160,000
- 2016 – 121,000
- 2015 – 121,795 – First year assisted by LOSBA
- 2014 – 105,000
- 2013 – 85,000
- 2012 – 100,000 fingerlings
- 2011 – 111,995 fingerlings + 8800 yearlings = 120,795
- 2010 – 80,000
- 2009 – 85,750 fingerlings + 14,250 yearlings = 100,000 total fish
- 2008 – 72,462 fingerlings + 8,246 yearlings = 81,292 total fish
- 2007 – 80,000 fingerlings; Lake Ouachita Management Plan finalized
- 2006 – 54,687 fingerlings + 5,313 yearlings = 60,000 total fish
- 2005 – 19,320 fingerlings + 5,680 yearlings = 25,000 total fish
- 2004 – 25,500 fingerlings
- 2003 – 191,700 fingerlings – Nursery pond stocking
- 2002 – 0 – no stocking.
- 2001 – 100,970 fingerlings
- 2000 – 9,576 fingerlings
- 1999 – 283,000 fingerlings – Nursery pond stocking.
- 1998 – 29,972 fingerlings
- 1997 – 54,000 fingerlings
- 1996 – 307,749 fingerlings – Nursery pond stocking
- 1995 – 10,000 fingerlings
Biologists reviewing these criteria from states with striper fisheries across the Southeast agree that the AGFC are stocking conservatively for a trophy striped bass fishery based on current Lake Ouachita striper growth rates, fish condition, and forage fish abundance.Lake Ouachita stripers have excellent growth rates (up to 25 inches by age-4) and condition (relative weights up to 97%), indicating that forage is not currently a limiting factor for these fish.