Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Latest Victim of the Texas Drought: Striped Bass

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for StateImpact Texas.

A lone angler fishes Lake Buchanan, February 2012.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced today that the Dundee State Fish Hatchery in Wichita Falls, Texas, will be “suspended effective immediately” because there isn’t enough water to operate during the ongoing drought.

“Although many parts of the state recently received good rains, the area west of Wichita Falls around Lakes Kemp and Diversion did not,” Todd Engeling, director of hatchery operations for the department, said in a statement. As we reported in February, the hatchery is responsible for much of Texas’ striped bass supply. More from our earlier report:

“There are four hatcheries in the state run by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and supplies up to five million striped bass fingerlings (or baby fish) per year.  Unlike most other species of sport fish in Texas, striped bass do not naturally procreate in the state. Without the stocking program the populations will steadily decline and disappear in Texas.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife says they will adjust production at their other hatcheries to shift away from largemouth bass “to produce striped bass and hybrid striped bass fingerlings.”


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