The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is experimenting with largemouth bass stockings in Lake Allatoona. Photo courtesy of the GADNR.
Allatoona, which is at the northern edge of the Atlanta metro area and is highly popular with bass fishermen, has become more of a spot lake than a largemouth lake in recent year, with largemouths now making up only 10 to 20 percent of the black bass population. Local anglers enjoy catching spots, but they generally favor largemouths, which grow larger than spots, and have hoped that something could be done to improve largemouth fishing.
Of the next few years, the GADNR will stock 1/4 million 1- to 2-inch largemouth fingerlings per year in the spring, plus several thousand 5- to 7- inch bass each fall. Biologists will closely monitor the black bass population throughout that period and for three more years so stocked fish that survive have time to grow and they can monitor individual year classes.
It'll be fun to see what this project reveals and how Georgia's stocking emphasis might shift if it is successful.