A school of striped bass. (Image: Timothy Knepp/USFWS)

Recently, 30,000 striped bass fingerlings were stocked in the Coosa River upstream from Weiss Lake to supplement the existing population, which has experienced a decline in recent years.

This stocking is a cooperative effort between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Although Weiss Lake is best known for its crappie and black bass fisheries, for many years it has also provided a popular and economically valuable striped bass fishery. Striped bass were first stocked into this system in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have since been sustained entirely by natural reproduction. The upper portion of the Coosa River Basin is one of the few remaining locations in the region where natural reproduction by striped bass has been successful.

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In recent years, Weiss Lake anglers reported a decline in striped bass numbers. In July 2017, the Weiss Lake Improvement Association requested that the Alabama DCNR consider stocking striped bass into the lake. ADCNR conducted an email survey that was sent to more than 5,000 individuals who held a fishing license in the surrounding counties of Weiss Lake. Seventy-six percent of the respondents supported the supplemental stocking.

“We appreciate the input from the fishermen around Weiss Lake on what was needed to improve the fishery,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner. “ADCNR is pleased to partner with Georgia’s DNR to provide this supplemental stocking, which will enhance recreational fishing opportunities for our citizens and guests who enjoy fishing on Weiss Lake.”

The Georgia DNR Fisheries Management Section provided the fingerlings and ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division will monitor the result of the stocking before considering any future stockings. This fishery is shared by both Alabama and Georgia and is an important source of adult brood fish for the Georgia DNR striped bass hatchery program.

Find more information about striped bass in Alabama here.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

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