Fisheries officials urge moving cautiously with Weiss Lake plans
Alabama Department of Fisheries representatives say they will need more local feedback and documentation before any move is made to re-stock Weiss Lake with stripes.
Members of the Weiss Lake Improvement Authority and visitors heard from Nick Nichols, chief of the Alabama Department of Fisheries and Mike Holley, district biologist, Alabama Department of Fisheries during WLIA’s July meeting held at the Cherokee County Administration Building in Centre.
“Thanks for inviting us,” said Holley. “We figured this would be kind of a low-key questionand-answer type meeting. We are here for you.”
Mark Collins, president, Weiss Lake Improvement Authority, gave a summary of what they are proposing.
“Most everybody is concerned about stocking striped hybrids into the lake,” said Collins. “They wonder ‘Are they going to eat the crappie out of the lake?’ The sci- ence that I have researched is from the study Auburn University has done. They needed 440 fish and only found six crappie out of 440 fish. The science tells us that even when we had the biggest stripe population we have ever had in the lake, we were still catching big amounts of crappie. So personally I have seen where they are not eating.”
“Any fish is going to eat another fish if it has a chance,” said Collins. “But Lake Weiss is fertile. It has a lot of shad in it so they don’t have to primarily eat crappie. Now if something was to happen and all our shad was to die on Lake Weiss they are going to have to eat something and they are going to start with the easiest one they can catch.”
“Similar studies have been done all across the southeast and pretty much all of those studies indicated the same thing, that the striped bass and hybrids, almost study by study by study is greater than 95 percent, shad or some other,” said Holley. “It has been repeated over and over again across the Southeast.”
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