Bass research

In South Africa the process of demarcating waters for the use of alien fishes such as bass, recognises the value that these fish play in the South African economy and legitimises their presence in certain water bodies. Conversely, bass do have been linked to various ecosystem and biodiversity impacts mainly resulting prom predation.

To better understand the impacts of bass on South African ecosystems, the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity is leading various research programmes on bass. The research is currently supported by the Stutterheim Aquatic Club, Wriggleswade Bassmasters, SABAA, Goya SA, Trima lures and Rapala VMC. The primary purpose of the research is to better understand the role that bass play in this ecosystem, what the economic impacts are and how the fishery could be better managed.

The research is being undertaken mainly by Geraldine Taylor, and MSC student in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science of Rhodes University and addresses as well as by various BSc Honours students. In 2010 these were Carl Huchzermeyer and Kirstin Bray. Our research focuses on various aspects of bass biology and ecology and includes the following themes:

-Growth rates of bass in various water bodies.

-Diet studies.

-Bass behaviour and movement using acoustic telemetry.

-Genetic analyses to determine how much the Florida bass gene is integrated in South African largemouth bass populations.