LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) - More than 50,000 fingerlings were released into the Lacassine Pool on Thursday, April 26. The first fish release since 2004.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with local help, restocked the Lacassine Pool with fingerlings.
Wildlife agents said because of the drought in recent years, water levels were low and so was the fish population.
"Last year we probably had a couple hundred acres of water and then this year we're back to full pool at 16,000 acres again," Lacassine Refuge Manager Richard Myers said.
Myers said in 2011 the fish were very concentrated in some of the canals.
Restocking the pool is not required, but it's a good thing that helps.
"We had a lot of our local folks who like to fish at the pool and we took the opportunity to let them take part in the restocking instead of just staff members and instead of just pouring them off the side of the levees, we were able to spread them out everywhere," Myers said.
And it won't take long for the fish to repopulate the body of water, according to Biologist Manager for LDWF Eric Shanks.
"We're just trying to help mother nature along and boost that recovery time a little bit with some fish that we feel are going to provide anglers more opportunities to catch larger fish down the road," Shanks said.
The fish are a Florida sub-species of large mouthed bass that have the propensity to grow larger faster.
Both Myers and Shanks said more fish releases will be conducted in the future.
The Mermantau River was also restocked with the fingerlings.