The NC Wildlife Resources Commission will stock F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass into Lake Norman, Lake Gaston, and Jordan Lake over the next 4–5 years.
These are experimental stockings aimed to improve Largemouth Bass populations by increasing the quantity of trophy Largemouth Bass in reservoirs. The Commission will be closely evaluating F1 hybrid fingerling persistence, growth, and contribution to the Largemouth Bass population by collecting genetic and population data from electrofishing surveys and tournament weigh-ins. Program success will be evaluated until at least 2030 and compared across the three reservoirs, which have different levels of primary productivity, to determine future management strategies.
For a full description of the project, please view the Job Description.
Learn more about our funding partner, Bass Anglers for NC Lakes, Inc., or to donate to the project.
2021 Lake Norman F1 Project Update
2021 Lake Norman Spring 2021 Electrofishing Results
2020 Lake Norman F1 Largemouth Bass Stocking Program Fact Sheet
An F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass is a first-generation 50-50 cross between two strains of Largemouth Bass, a pure Northern, and a pure Florida Largemouth Bass.
F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass will be stocked by the Commission in Lake Norman, Lake Gaston, and Jordan Lake.
F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass are thought to have “hybrid vigor”, which may allow them to grow rapidly and attain a larger overall size than other forms of Largemouth Bass. The goal of stocking these fish is to increase the quantity and quality of trophy-sized Largemouth Bass in reservoirs.
In addition, some Largemouth Bass populations have been negatively impacted by the illegal introduction of Alabama Bass. Stocking F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass may help to augment certain populations that have been negatively affected. However, these stockings will not return Largemouth Bass populations to pre-invasion levels.
No, any offspring an F1 hybrid produces will no longer be a cross between a pure Florida and a pure Northern Largemouth Bass. In fact, these hybrids very rarely occur in nature because most populations are a genetic mix between Northern and Florida Largemouth Bass and do not contain an abundance of both pure Northern and pure Florida Largemouth Bass.
Because any offspring F1 produce will no longer be a cross between a pure Florida Largemouth Bass and a pure Northern Largemouth Bass, the Commission must stock F1 hybrids annually to maintain a population throughout the initial evaluation period and beyond.
Because current populations in North Carolina are already made up of a genetic mix of Northern and Florida strain Largemouth Bass, biologists do not expect these stockings to drastically alter the genetic makeup of any populations. Biologists do not expect to see any negative impacts on the overall abundance, condition, or growth of the existing fisheries; however, populations will be closely monitored by the Commission and stocking can be adjusted should any negative impacts arise.
The only way to identify an F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass is through genetic evaluation. On the surface, they look exactly like other Largemouth Bass in the reservoir.
The possibility of stocking F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass will largely depend on the successful evaluation of this current program as well as future budget and hatchery considerations.
The Commission purchases F1 hybrid Largemouth Bass fingerlings from private fish suppliers.