Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Uvalde NFH and Texas Parks and Wildlife Stock Guadalupe Basson the Guadalupe River
Southwest Region, June 14, 2007
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GUB Young of Year-FWS Photo
GUB Young of Year-FWS Photo - Photo Credit: n/a

Uvalde, Texas -- Ongoing efforts by Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) and Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the State Fish of Texas to its status as reigning native fish of Texas Hill Country waters took a major step with the recent stocking of tens of thousands of Guadalupe bass fingerlings.

Close to 100,000 fingerlings of the feisty sport fish (Micropterus treculii) obtained from the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center and the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Uvalde National Fish Hatchery in Texas were released into the upper reaches of the Guadalupe River in late May and early June.  The stocking effort is part of a five-year Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative being undertaken by TPWD and the Upper Guadalupe River Authority with support by the Hill Country Fly Fishers, other partners, including more recently, the Fish and Wildlife Service.

“This native species program at Uvalde NFH not only provides a healthy population of Guadalupe bass for anglers as a recreational resource but also promotes a wonderful opportunity to partner with our state’s wildlife resource agency,” said Grant Webber, who is the Project Leader at the Uvalde NFH.  “This project will assure the Guadalupe bass’s survival in the Guadalupe River, and raise awareness of the unique value of this valuable natural resource,” said Dr. Gary Garrett, who heads up the program at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center in Ingram, Texas.

Designated by Texas lawmakers in 1989 as the State Fish of Texas, the Guadalupe bass is native to the streams of the Guadalupe, San Antonio, Colorado and Brazos river systems.

For the past 15 years, the TPWD has been reintroducing the Guadalupe bass to Hill Country streams feeding into the Guadalupe River in an effort to overcome non-native smallmouth bass populations with which the state fish has hybridized.  Genetic contamination is one of the major factors that have led to the decline of Guadalupe bass.

Research efforts begun in 1992 to restore the Guadalupe bass in Johnson Creek have reduced the number of hybrids from 30 percent to 3 percent, according to Garrett.  Last year, TPWD expanded the research program throughout the Guadalupe River headwaters, adding 58,000 fingerlings.

The recent stocking of the sleek, hard-fighting bass at Schumacher’s Crossing on the Guadalupe River near Hunt is part of a five-year initiative whose goal is to stock 225,000 pure-strain Guadalupe bass fingerlings each year.  The Upper Guadalupe River Authority is seeking to secure funds to support the effort to stock the native sport fish that provides a recreational resource for anglers and emphasizes the quality of the waters in which it lives. 

For more information about the Guadalupe bass restoration project, contact Grant Webber of the Uvalde National Fish Hatchery at (830) 278-2419.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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