Florida Orders Halt to Keeping Shoal Bass from Chipola

Catch-and-release still permitted, but harvest and possession are not.

Florida Orders Halt to Keeping Shoal Bass from Chipola

Sheldon Grace’s state-record shoal bass came out of the Chipola in 2017. (Photo by Clay Grace/courtesy of FWC)

Citing concern over species population, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has suspended harvest and possession of shoal bass from the Chipola River and its tributaries.

The FWC executive order on June 5 is effective immediately will be in effect indefinitely. Catch-and-release fishing is still permitted.

FWC says shoal bass population in the Chipola may have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Michael. Recent samplings showed significantly lower catches of shoal bass.

The state-record shoal bass — 5.95-pounds, caught by Sheldon Grace in 2017 — came out of the Chipola, the only waterbody in Florida where there is a population of naturally reproducing, genetically pure shoal bass.


“Shoal bass are one of the least common bass species found in Florida because of their limited range,” said Chris Paxton, regional fisheries administrator for FWC’s Northwest Region. “We are doing everything we can to ensure through proactive conservation actions that the shoal bass population remains healthy, and anglers have the opportunity to enjoy this vibrant and valued bass species for years to come.”


Those actions included taking 16 shoal bass from the river to the Blackwater Fish Hatchery near Holt to be spawned and potentially supplement the population.

Shoal bass are similar in body shape to largemouth bass, but unlike the largemouth, the shoal bass has scales on the base portion of the second dorsal fin; its first and second dorsal fins are clearly connected, and its upper jaw does not extend past the eye. Shoal bass also lack the dark lateral (down the side) band that largemouth have. Shoal bass have vertical stripes above the midline of the body which resemble tiger stripes.

Learn more about the Chipola River

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

Mustad Skatter Shad Bladed Jig

As Mustad continues to expand into an all-around tackle company, Reid McKinstry shows off some innovative features that make the Mustad Skatter Shad bladed jig a winner in big bass waters.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them. Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

See More Trending Articles

More News

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, fishing guides feel a tight squeeze during what should be their busiest time of the year. News

Pandemic Creates Silent Spring for Fishing Guides

Frank Sargeant - March 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, fishing guides feel a tight squeeze during what should be...

Despite COVID-19 restrictions elsewhere, governor lists hunting and fishing as essential activities for now. News

Coronavirus: Texas Spring Fishing, Turkey Season Continue On

Lynn Burkhead - April 01, 2020

Despite COVID-19 restrictions elsewhere, governor lists hunting and fishing as essential...

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6. News

Your Vote Counts for 'America's Best Aquarium 2020'

Game & Fish Staff

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6.

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized. News

Possible World Record Breaks Angler's Own Mark

Game & Fish Digital Staff - April 30, 2020

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now