The captive rearing and stocking of fish is of the utmost importance throughout the United States.
The majority of trout and a big portion of inland salmon fisheries are the result of captive bred and released fish. For example the Little Red River in Arkansas would not have a rainbow trout fishery if it were not for hatcheries.
Hatcheries are also important to Texas fisheries. In fact we recently scoured the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s hatchery database to see just how much stocking was taking place and learned the state’s hatcheries are having a big impact on fishing throughout our state.
This article will show you stocking patterns and give you an idea on which areas are what particular species.
The following are various stocking totals for key reservoirs and major bay systems in Texas. Most of these do not contain the individual stocking information for 2016. Although we have totals on numerous species, we do not have most of the totals on individual lakes.
Florida Largemouth Bass: 8,957,723
Largemouth Bass: 316,646
Blue Catfish: 988,349
Channel Catfish: 146,866
Striped Bass: 2,022,211
White Bass/Striper Hybrids: 5,892,427
Rainbow Trout: 218,289
Caddo Lake (Florida Largemouth Bass): 2,421,309
Possum Kingdom (Striped Bass): 1,843,726
Lake Fork (Florida Largemouth Bass): 2,340,071
Lewisville (Florida Largemouth Bass): 1,003,987
Canyon Lake (Striped Bass): 677,592
Toledo Bend (Florida Largemouth Bass): 2,616,439
Sam Rayburn (Florida Largemouth Bass): 3,587,982
Lake Conroe (Florida Largemouth Bass): 932,825
Choke Canyon (Florida Largemouth Bass): 637,740
Alan Henry (Florida Largemouth Bass): 248,832
River systems in Texas do not get stocked nearly as much as lakes and bays. The following are 10 key rivers in Texas and their last reported stockings.
Llano River (Guadalupe Bass) 37,491 (2016)
Neches River (Smallmouth Bass) 26,310 (1980)
Blanco River (Guadalupe Bass) 55,794 (2016)
Angelina River (Largemouth Bass) 20,000 (1973)
Canadian River (Channel Catfish) 1,500 (1973)
Perdenales River (Channel Catfish) 552 (1993)
Rio Grande River (Smallmouth Bass) 50,000 (1977)
San Antonio River (Guadalupe Bass) 19,741 (2016)
Concho River (Florida Largemouth Bass) 1,000 (1986)
Guadalupe River (Guadalupe Bass-Adult) 186 (2010)
Sabine Lake: 6,278,616
Galveston Bay: 14,499,583
East Matagorda Bay: 5,058,690
Matagorda Bay: 11,820,669
San Antonio Bay: 4,292,922
Aransas Bay: 6,561,379
Corpus Christi Bay: 5,110,734
Upper Laguna Madre: 6,568,393
Lower Laguna Madre: 5,102,097
Sabine Lake: 2,964,538
Galveston Bay: 4,437,211
East Matagorda Bay: 4,617,288
Matagorda Bay: 9,615,663
San Antonio Bay: 3,896,983
Aransas Bay: 426,395
Upper Laguna Madre: 133,940
Lower Laguna Madre: 5,815,979
The total for the last five years is 330,720. The southern flounder program has grown in leaps and bound since its first stocking of 4,335 combined for Sabine Lake and Aransas Bay in 2009 due to the hard work of the crew at Sea Center Texas and other facilities including the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. We will have much more on the southern flounder-stocking program in a forthcoming edition.
In the past TPWD has stocked some species that (unfortunately) did not take off and below are list of some of those stockings.
Tarpon: 34 total stocked in Braunig Lake 1984-85.
Walleye: In 2016 alone more than 3,244,428 walleye fry have been stocked in Fryer, Meredith and Wheeler Branch Reservoir. Another 1,331,375 were stocked in Palo Duro Reservoir, Theo at Caprock Canyon, Wheeler Branch and White Reservoir in 2015. Look for a story on the walleye-stocking program in upcoming Texas Outdoor Nation news.
Tiger Musky: (Hybrid Northern Pike and Muskellunge) These toothy fish were stocked in 1976-77 in Copper Breaks State Park, Leon, Meridian State Park, Mill Creek Lake, Alcoa, Nocona and Raven.
Muskellunge: (Musky) There was a total of 2,785 stocked in Amsted, Copper Breaks State Park and Inks Lake.
Nile Perch: Between 1978-84 there were about 80,000 nile perch stocked between Braunig and Coleto Creek with the lion’s share going to Coleto Breek.
Corvina: Around 750,000 orangemouth corvina were stocked in Braunig Lake between 1985-86. These Pacific Coast fish look like a giant speckled or sand trout.
Peacock Bass: Between 1978-98 around 19,000 peacock bass were stocked in Bastrop, Coleto Creek, Tradinghouse and Alcoa.