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Saving the State Fish

For 30 years, TPWD and partners have collaborated to restore and conserve the Guadalupe bass.


Every Texan should add this to their bucket list: catching a Guadalupe bass, the official state fish of Texas, from one of the crystalline, spring-fed rivers of the Hill Country. Guadalupe bass are found only in Central Texas, and populations are threatened by degraded habitat, altered streamflow and breeding with introduced smallmouth bass.

When the state fish was in danger of being bred out of existence, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and partners launched concerted efforts in 1991 to save the species, restoring or conserving their populations in 14 creeks and rivers. TPWD and partners conducted nearly 50 habitat restoration or preservation projects and watershed-scale management of riparian invasive plants in eight watersheds to create favorable conditions for stocking 2.4 million genetically pure Guadalupe bass.

Restoration of this species is underway in six more rivers, as well as status assessments for another eight rivers. TPWD currently manages 23 public river-access areas that offer angling opportunities for this species, engaging fly-fishing clubs, local conservation nonprofits and communities in the efforts to ensure that future generations of Texas anglers are able to experience this storied fish.  

To learn more, read “Restoring the Guadalupe Bass” in our March 2018 issue or check out the Guadalupe Bass Restoration Initiative annual report on the TPWD website.

 Tim Birdsong   Courtesy Chris Johnson | Living Waters Fly Fishing

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