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Trinity River may have most striped bass, but not the biggest
Topic Started: Apr 19 2016, 12:33 PM (30 Views)
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Trinity River may have most striped bass, but not the biggest
by Shannon Tompkins @ http://www.chron.com

Almost every striped bass and hybrid white/striped bass stocked in Texas water over the past couple of decades traces its parentage to fish collected from the Trinity River immediately below the Lake Livingston Dam.

That short reach of Trinity River holds arguably the highest concentration of striped bass in the state, and is why, since 1981, it has been the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department inland fisheries division's main collection site for stripers used in the agency's hatchery program.

While that section of the Trinity River may have a corner on the number of stripers, and anglers fishing there can enjoy good fishing for these hard-fighting, "naturalized" freshwater, it doesn't hold particularly large specimens.

Freshwater striped bass can grow to more than 50 pounds. But most of the stripers below the Livingston Dam weigh 5-12 pounds. The official water-body record for a striped bass caught on rod-and-reel from the Trinity River stands at a modest 14.5 pounds. That fish, caught in March of 2009, measured 31 inches.
There are larger stripers in the Trinity. Fish weighing more than the current Trinity River record have been caught and not submitted for record consideration. And Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff using electro-fishing boats in the near the spillway have "shocked up" fish weighing more than 20 pounds.
But the Trinity isn't the spot for truly huge Texas stripers.

Seventeen of the 20 heaviest striped bass taken in Texas have come from four river systems; the Guadalupe River leads with five, and the Brazos, Colorado and Rio Grande have four apiece.

And truly big striped bass are rare in Texas waters, these days. Only one fish ranked among Texas' Top 20 stripers and five of the Top 50 have been caught since 2000.

The Trinity River system has produced only one striped bass on Texas' list of the 50 heaviest stripers. That 31.5 pound fish, caught in 1986 and classified as the Lake Livingston record, ranks 50th.

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