Electronic bass key to fish species’ conservation
By Marc Speir
University News Service
November 29, 2007
Associate professor Tim Bonner and aquatic biology graduate student Josh Perkin from Texas State University-San Marcos are electronically equipping one dozen Guadalupe bass in each river with radio telemetry tags for conservation purposes.
Guadalupe bass undergoing surgical process to be fitted with a telemetric device.
The Department of Biology is tracking the Guadalupe bass, a species in danger of extinction from habitat modification and crossbreeding with non-native smallmouth bass, by inserting electronic devices into the underbellies of the Guadalupe bass and recording their habitat and migration patterns.
Guadalupe bass that are used for the study will pull a small eight-inch antenna underneath their pelvic fins that will be used as a beacon to locate the fish and track behavior. The research will begin in late December and is expected to end in June, when devices will be removed from the bass.
Those catching “wired” fish are asked to return them to the water so the study can be completed with the most accurate information.
Perkin and Bonner will use data on the depth of the water, velocity of river current, temperature and other critical habitat conditions to help understand habitat needs. The information will guide the
“We chose the South Llano and the Pedernales because a high abundance of genetically pure Guadalupe bass still exist,” Perkin, from
Guadalupe bass after being fitted with a telemetric device.
Known as the state fish of
“These fish aren’t found anywhere else in the world but central
Bonner will also be working with Ph.D. student Preston Bean or Aledo in an area-wide genetic survey to reveal the level of introgression and crossbreeding within the Guadalupe bass population.
“We are testing the genetic diversity among all black basses within the historical range of Guadalupe bass to determine the status of genetically pure and introgressed populations,” said Bonner. “This way, we can see the extent of crossbreeding.”
Anglers from the
“What I’ve thought was a Guadalupe bass might not be a true one,” said Jerrett Kramer, geography-natural resource management graduate from