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Black Bass Diversity


BlackBassThe Fisheries Conservation Foundation’s North American Black Bass Coalition was recently one of the sponsors of the special symposium: Black Bass Diversity: Multidisciplinary Science for Conservation.

This meeting focused on the diversity of the black basses and the need to conserve native populations. The consequences of genetic mixing though stocking programs, exotic species introduction, and habitat loss have taken its toll. We are at a crossroads for action; if we are going to prevent key populations from extirpation or even entire species of black bass from extinction, we must act now.

Bass biologists who participated at the symposium are providing their insight on specific topics about black bass management, ecology and conservation on our “Science of Bass” Blog at:
http://www.fishconserve.org/blog/

There are currently nine recognized species of black bass (with several more to come soon).  Six of these have relatively small native ranges and exist only in the southern U.S. (Guadalupe bass, shoal bass, redeye bass, Florida bass, Alabama bass, and Suwannee bass).  As part of this symposium, scientists involved with the Native Black Bass Initiative articulated specific strategies for conserving these species. Plans have been formulated to integrate this initiative into the Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan (www.southeastaquatics.net), a component of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, which is an effort that oversees local conservation projects,  addresses regional conservation priorities, and  contributes to five-year, 10-year, and 15-year conservation targets.

In addition, protection of native black bass would be a perfect match for establishing one or more Native Fish Conservation Areas (NFCA), one of the goals of FCF’s Rivers of Success Campaign. NFCAs focus on conserving native fish populations, habitats, and their aquatic communities at the watershed level.

To keep informed on black bass diversity issues, follow our “Science of Bass” blog and this News Page for updates.

To see and hear these presentations, click here.

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