KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency released 50,000 F1 Largemouth Bass into Boone Reservoir Thursday in an effort to enhance the fishery following repairs to the dam.
The F1 bass is a first-generation cross between Northern Largemouth Bass and Florida Largemouth Bass. TWRA purchased the fish from American Sport Fish Hatchery Management in Montgomery, Ala.
Half of the fish were distributed into the South Fork Holston River arm of Boone Reservoir at the Airport Boat Ramp and the other half were placed into the Watauga River arm at Sonny’s Marina.
“In the past, we stocked pure, Florida Largemouth Bass into reservoirs, but it takes years for these fish to mature and naturally cross with the Northern strain. Stocking the F1 cross will jump-start the process of producing a bigger, more aggressive fish,” says TWRA Region 4 Fisheries Program Coordinator Bart Carter.
Repairs on Boone Dam began in 2015, with the reservoir pool being lowered to facilitate the repairs. With operations returning to normal, TWRA will begin evaluating what conditions are needed to grow big bass.TWRA will use genetic testing of the Largemouth Bass population in Boone Reservoir to determine if the three-year project has been successful.