Bass Population

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With the temperature dipping close to 20 degrees, most tried to stay out of the cold, but not biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife.

Fred Cross is a regional fisheries biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife, "What we're doing is tagging large mouth bass at Deerpoint Lake. Determine the usage of these bass by anglers, how many are released and how many are kept by anglers."

The day began with cruising by boat in the Bear Creek inlet of Deerpoint Lake. Three crews with the fish and wildlife use a generator on the boat that puts electricity in the water to temporarily stun the fish.

"We put them in the live well in the boat and when we get enough fish, then we'll stop, we weigh, measure, and tag and then let them go."

The biological data from each fish is used from year to year to measure the impact anglers have on the bass population.

"We tagged 1000 last year, so far we've got slightly over 200 returns out of that
1000 fish. About 70 percent of those fish were released, they weren't harvested."

So far, the data shows a healthy bass population.

"For example, if over harvesting was occurring with the fisherman's input, we'd put regulations on the bass."