Bass Conservation


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Conservation News


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Black Bass Diversity​

Black bass are native to North America.  They have adapted to lots of unique habitats across the country and include the most popular sport fishes in the United States. Now, scientists consider 19 distinctly different species or species-like variants. Sometimes the differences are obvious, but many times they are not. Maryland anglers can catch largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. More difficult to detect, Florida bass hybrids were stocked to eastern shore rivers for a short period of time in the 1990's and their genetics likely still persist.


Things you can do.

  1. ​​Read Conservation of Black Bass Diversity: An emerging paradigm.
  2. Send us your favorite picture of bass​ to fishingreports.dnr@maryland.gov.
  3. Introduce someone to black bass or black bass fishing.

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How to Hold a Bass

Experts agree, anglers who take photos with prized catches of black bass could be causing them unnecessary stress and harm.
 
 

Things you can do.

  1. Hold the fish horizontally with two hands, especially big bass, or hold vertically from the lip. Never hold the fish on a slant or diagonally because this can hurt their jaw.
  2. Be quick! Selfies are great but bass belong in the water. Take the photo quickly, especially in summer heat, and return the fish to the water.
  3. Talk with other anglers about how they handle fish. Let us know your thoughts on holding bass.

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Summer Heat!

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Chesapeake Bay water temperatures during summer pose a greater threat to bass survival than water temperatures during other seasons.  
  1. Avoid. Follow the advice for striped bass fishing and avoid the hottest days or times for fishing.
  2. Recuperate. Tournament anglers can use their live wells to recuperate a bass on a hot day, if the live well is run effectively.
  3. Learn. Read Bass Care 101, take the Bass Class, read more about keeping bass alive, or ask a pro.


Things you can do.

  1. Download Bass Care 101​. Share the full document with your friends. Talk about it. Share your ideas with us.
  2. Take the Bass Class​. Test your knowledge and earn a certificate to share on social media or print out for the office.
  3. Avoid hot days during mid or late summer to go fishing and review otherBass Fishing Tips.
  4. Fishing a tournament? Buy live well thermometers for your club. Buy your club members containers to freeze ice to cool their live wells. Get some funding by applying for theConservation Director award.  

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Bass Conservation is Habitat Conservation​

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Things you can do.

  1. ​Clean your boat before you launch it. Download the checklist.​ 
  2. Call the Chesapeake Bay Hotline (877-224-7229) to report pollution, fish kills, or suspicious or unusual activity on the water.
  3. Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers. Download more information on cleaning your boats and helping to stop the spread.

  4. Join Chesapeake Bay SAV watchers and help monitor underwater grass health.

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Chesapeake Bay Hotline

1-877-224-7229

 
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