Angler Larry Mosby caught the second Toyota ShareLunker of the 2017 season Feb. 28 from Lake Naconiche near Nacogdoches. ShareLunker 567, a 13.06 pound largemouth bass, is the first ShareLunker from the lake to be submitted to the program.
“Lake Naconiche was impounded in 2009, and since then we’ve used every tool in our toolbox to maximize the trophy potential in that reservoir,” said Todd Driscoll, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries biologist. “Since 2009, the reservoir has been stocked with approximately 380,000 Florida largemouth bass, 100,000 ShareLunker offspring fingerlings, and more than 700 retired hatchery brood fish ranging from 3 to 7 pounds.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries staff stock Florida largemouth bass in the reservoir every year to improve the genetic potential of the fish to reach trophy size, and in 2016 implemented a 16-inch maximum length limit for anglers to make sure the bass get old enough to reach trophy size. Driscoll also credits the “new lake effect” for the impressive abundance and growth of the bass in the relatively young reservoir.
“The ‘new lake effect’ results in very productive conditions in the reservoir — high forage abundance, ample aquatic vegetation, timber and good habitat — which promotes increased reproduction of fish and fast growth rates,” Driscoll said.
ShareLunker 567 is the first submission to the program from Lake Naconiche, but it’s not the first noteworthy bass from the lake. A 12.54 pound bass caught from the lake in 2013 was found to be the offspring of ShareLunker 370, which was submitted from Lake Fork in 2000. After she spawned at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, thousands of those offspring were stocked in Lake Naconiche.
ShareLunker 567 is now in that same “lunker bunker” at the TFFC to prepare for spawning. A fin clip will be sent to a lab at the A.E. Wood Laboratory in San Marcos, where biologists will use genetic analysis to determine whether she is a regular Florida largemouth bass or one of the ShareLunker fingerlings or retired hatchery brood fish that were also stocked in the reservoir.
“Mr. Mosby joins the long line of anglers who are helping us advance the science of the ShareLunker program,” said Kyle Brookshear, the Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator. “His decision to donate the fish for spawn is a decision that benefits all fishermen in Texas and helps TPWD continue our efforts to make fishing bigger and better in Texas.”
Anyone legally catching a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass from Texas waters, public or private, between Jan. 1 and March 31 may submit the fish to the Toyota ShareLunker program for spawning. Anglers can enter 13 pound or heavier bass into the program for certified weight, DNA sample and immediate release through April 30.
TPWD hatcheries staff plan to incorporate ShareLunker offspring into the Florida largemouth bass brood fish in hatcheries across the state, which could eventually increase the total ShareLunker offspring stocked annually into participating lakes from tens of thousands to more than 8 million.
The Toyota ShareLunker Program is made possible by a grant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation from Gulf States Toyota. Toyota is a longtime supporter of the Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, providing major funding for a wide variety of education, fish, parks and wildlife projects.
For updates on the ShareLunker program and to view photos of ShareLunker 567, visit https://www.facebook.com/Sharelunkerprogram/.