by Mike Gerry
Thanks to some great work by professional angler Chris Lane, Guntersville will get some much-needed addition of Florida strain bass. A restocking program will see its first year of, hopefully many, trying to regain the prominence of the past, with 50,000 Florida Strain bass starting this May. I cannot tell you how important this will be to the population of bass in the lake.
Enormous crowds, increased tournaments, and the sheer number of people enjoying bass fishing, has taken its toll on Lake Guntersville and this restocking could not come soon enough!
We all realize that Guntersville is an enormous size lake with 69,000 acres of water. It has been said that 90% of the bass are in 10% of the lake, but restocking gives the lake a chance to increase the location percentage as the more bass put into the lake, through restocking, the wider the area they occupy, thus increasing the chances of the average fisherman for catching fish.
We can only hope that this will be widely popular and increase the number of bass put into the lake. Additionally, if the restocking effort will grow, every year, and the lake starts receiving the much-needed attention of businesses, and fishing enthusiasts, they will see the results in revenue and sales. It will become a popular by-product of the restocking. Support will grow for this, as everyone sees the results over time.
If these expected results do not appear clear, just look at what has happened in Lake Chickamauga. Restocking has made it a big-fish lake where ten-pound bass are consistently caught, in big numbers, yearly. Also, the numbers of fish have increased substantially over the time of restocking thus increasing the percentage of water holding big groups of fish.
Lake Guntersville needs two to three hundred-thousand fingerlings yearly. The only way it will get this is for the local businesses to step up and support the effort to bring the lake back to the bass population we once enjoyed.
Sure, there is bound to be attrition, through predators consuming the fingerlings, but there will also be a big percentage of fingerlings that survive, and it will help tremendously.
Please support this effort. We will all benefit from it and our local businesses will grow as a result!