April of every year sees the start of the annual AGFC Striped Bass Stocking program on lake Ouachita.
Striped Bass fishing on Lake Ouachita is more popular than it has ever been.
Last year myself, Lake Ouachita Striper Guide, Ben Sanders, along with Dave Lindhag, George and Dave Cochran and other members of the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association, had a meeting with District 8 Fisheries Biologist Supervisor, Brett Hobbs and Stuart Wooldridge (retired). Our request was for releasing the striper fingerlings away from the boat ramps out in deeper water. Since the Lake Ouachita Nursery Pond was taken out of production in raising out and releasing stripers straight into the lake, the stripers fingerlings have been drained straight from hatchery trucks into the lake at the ramps.
We also volunteered to help, using our boats, to transport the fingerling stripers and releasing them in deeper water where small sunfish and yearling black bass that are predominate around ramps would not cause an increased mortality rate on the 1 to 3 inch fingerlings being released.
One thing to remember is stocking numbers and survival rates of fingerlings stocked are vastly different, survival rates of stocked striped bass from other research and studies indicate a 10% to 20% survival rate.
We want to thank the AGFC and Brett for granting this request and look forward to assisting in future endeavors.
Chuck Dovish narrates the below video produced by the AGFC detailing the Striped Bass Stocking Program carried out every year in April.
Starting at the 48 second mark, Brett Hobbs District 8 Fisheries Biologist Supervisor at the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery in Hot Springs, Arkansas, takes you through the process of the striped bass program from gill netting the Brood Stock Stripers from Lake Ouachita to releasing the fingerlings back to the lake.
If you would like more information about the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association or if you want to volunteer in this years striper program, assisting the LOSBA in stocking stripers away form the boat ramps, please contact the Lake Ouachita Striped Bass Association. http://www.lakeouachitastripedbassassociation.com/