A Comparison of Two Largemouth Bass Populations in the Upper Barataria Estuary

Monday, September 9, 2013
Governor's Hall I (trade show) (Statehouse Convention Center)
Bo Boudreaux , Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA
Allyse Ferrara , Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University
Quenton Fontenot , Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA
Anecdotal evidence in 2011 suggested enhanced largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides production in Lake Cataouatche, Louisiana, was related to an increase in vegetation stimulated by the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion.  To determine if the largemouth bass population in Lake Cataouatche was more robust than populations in areas not impacted by the diversion, we compared largemouth bass age and growth, and relative abundance in Lake Cataouatche to the Lac des Allemands largemouth bass population. Largemouth bass were collected from twelve random sites per lake each season (Spring 2012, Summer 2012, Fall 2013, Winter 2013) for one year by electrofishing.  Vegetation at each collection site was identified and quantified.  For each season there was no difference in largemouth bass abundance between the two lakes, but a fish kill (in early September 2012) associated with Hurricane Isaac reduced abundance equally in both lakes for the Fall and Winter seasons.  Largemouth bass abundance was higher in sites that contained submerged aquatic vegetation than in sites without submerged aquatic vegetation. The length-weight relationship, mean size, and age distribution was similar between the two lakes.  Population differences were not detected between the two lakes.