The southeastern United States have a diversity of aquatic habitats and species unparalleled in North America. More than 1,800 species of fishes, mussels, snails, turtles and crayfish live in more than 70 major river basins in the region.
Of these species, black bass are particularly important, both ecologically and economically. In 2006, more than 10 million anglers pursued black bass, more than any other fishing group, and generated $4.3 billion dollars in related revenue. Protecting the charismatic bass also benefits other native species, including fish, mussels and crayfish.
NFWF's Southeast Native Bass Conservation Program focuses on conserving three of the six black bass found in the Southeast: Guadalupe bass in Texas, Redeye bass in Savannah, and Shoal bass in the Chattahoochee, Flint and Chipola Rivers.
Key conservation strategies for this program include:
- Ameliorating effects of invasive species;
- Protecting and maintaining intact, healthy habitats with adequate stream flows;
- Restoring instream and riparian habitat;
- Conducting research and monitoring to accelerate establishment and sustainability of pure populations of bass; and
- Outreach and adaptive management.
Funding from the Southeast Native Bass Conservation Program has supported the restoration of 98 miles of stream and has helped establish two self-supporting, genetically pure populations.