BULL SHOALS – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation jointly developed a proposal in 2010 to consider stocking striped bass in Bull Shoals Lake. The original proposal was to establish a trophy striped bass fishery by stocking 22,000 fingerling striped bass every other year, while maintaining other popular game fish populations.
According to AGFC Chief of Fisheries Mark Oliver, the two agencies hosted a total of five public meetings in Missouri and Arkansas during 2011. Each agency also visited with numerous anglers in 2011-12. After the meetings and angler input, the AGFC decided not to pursue stocking striped bass in Bull Shoals Lake at that time. “We know that the low striped bass stocking rates outlined in the proposal would not negatively impact other popular game fish such as walleye and bass, but we did not receive an abundance of support for the proposal,” Oliver said. “Right now, anglers are experiencing some great fishing in Bull Shoals due to the high water from a few years ago. We will continue to monitor the fishery and may reconsider striped bass stockings at some point in the future,” Oliver added.
Recently, MDC acquired striped bass with the intent to stock up to 16,000 fingerling striped bass in the Missouri portion of Bull Shoals Lake during 2013. The fish will be stocked without the support of the AGFC. “MDC has been a valuable partner on many cooperative Arkansas-Missouri projects, but we simply can’t agree that this stocking is the best course of action at this time based on the comments we have received from our anglers,” Oliver noted.
Bull Shoals Lake is a 45,000-acre lake in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri owned by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.