By Mike Bischoff
Lake Livingston Fishing Club
There was exciting news from Dan Ashe, biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Lake Livingston Fishing Club aka the Happy Hookers. Dan announced that beginning in 2024, TPWD will start stocking hybrid striped bass in Lake Livingston.
Why hybrid bass in Lake Livingston? Although our lake is the best white bass fishing lake in Texas, hybrid striped are prized by anglers because they grow larger than white bass, making them more fun to catch. Like white bass, hybrids are also good eating. Hybrid bass will draw more anglers along with the economic benefits for our area. No longer will local anglers have to go to Lake Conroe to catch hybrids.
Ashe explained that hybrid striped bass are a cross between white bass and striped bass. There are two types of hybrid striped bass – the palmetto and the sunshine. A palmetto is a cross between a female striped bass and a male white bass while a sunshine bass is a cross between a female white bass and a male striped bass. There is very little difference between the palmetto and the sunshine, but Mr. Ashe stated that the state plans on stocking Livingston with sunshine bass as studies indicate sunshine should do slightly better in our lake conditions than the palmetto.
Lake Livingston is slightly more than 80,000 acres in size. To stock the lake with a meaningful amount of fish requires at least three to four fish per acre. Hence, the lake needs roughly 240,000 to 320,000 fish. Fingerlings, which are baby fish about one and a half inches in length cost 30 cents each. Thus, the cost of stocking the lake will be between $72,000 and $96,000. TPWD hopes to cover most, or all, of this cost.
Additional good news shared by Mr. Ashe was that TPWD will approve a “Private Stocking Permit” to our fishing club which will be working with Friends of Lake Livingston (FoLL) as an adjunct to provide additional stocking of fish beyond what the state provides. FoLL is a non-profit organization whose mission, in part, is to reestablish Lake Livingston as a prime destination for anglers and water enthusiasts.
FoLL and our fishing club will start a fundraising campaign to raise money to supplement the state’s effort. Contributions to FoLL are tax-deductible.