2,000 “Freeze Brand” Largemouth Stocked Into West Point

These bass will be easily recognized because of a freeze branding technique.

Mike Bolton | December 14, 2021

Georgia has stocked 2,000, 10-inch largemouth bass into West Point Lake, and fishermen will be able to tell if they catch one of those fish.

The bass carry a brand that makes them easy to identify.

The freeze brand mark on 2,000 West Point bass will be easily recognizable.

“We freeze brand them with dry ice,” said Brent Hess, Fisheries Biologist II from the District I office in LaGrange. “We touch them with dry ice, and it leaves a mark in a conspicuous place.”

The purpose of the brand is to allow fishery biologists to identify the stocked fish during future sampling, said Region I Supervisor Jim Hakala. He said it is the first year the fish have been branded, even though the stocking of largemouth bass in West Point has been ongoing annually since 2016.

 “We can possibly change the brand from year to year to identify what year the fish were stocked when we do our sampling,” he said.

Fisherman are not required to contact Fisheries when they catch one of the fish, “but they can surely send us a picture if they like,” Hakala said.

“These fish were part of our normal hatchery production, but these fish were held longer and averaged 10-inches long,” Hess said.


West Point Lake Record Fish

Largemouth Bass 14-lbs., 2-ozs. Richard Little 04/15/1988
Spotted Bass 6-lbs., 9-ozs. Wendell Young 02/07/1990
White Crappie 3-lbs., 14-ozs. Willie Arnold 02/15/1989
Black Crappie 3-lbs., 6-ozs. Edward Cagle 03/14/1996
Hybrid Bass 14-lbs., 12.75-ozs. Dustin Pate 03/13/2009
Shoal Bass 3-lbs., 7-ozs. Danny Swafford 08/02/1997
Blue Catfish 61-lbs. Jerrimie Tolbert 10/22/2022
Flathead Catfish 48-lbs. Mike Felter 08/22/2020
Yellow Perch 1-lb., 2.4-ozs. Toney Booker 11/18/2017
Channel Catfish 16-lbs., 7.5-ozs. Owen Knabe 4/22/2018
Striped Bass 36-lbs., 2.72-ozs. Mike Bradford 03/08/2019

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