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 Bass14-lbs., 2-ozs.Richard Little04/15/1988
Spotted Bass6-lbs., 9-ozs.Wendell Young02/07/1990
White Crappie3-lbs., 14-ozs.Willie Arnold02/15/1989
Black Crappie3-lbs., 6-ozs.Edward Cagle03/14/1996
Hybrid Bass14-lbs., 12.75-ozs.Dustin Pate03/13/2009
Shoal Bass3-lbs., 7-ozs.Danny Swafford08/02/1997
Blue Catfish61-lbs.Jerrimie Tolbert10/22/2022
Flathead Catfish48-lbs.Mike Felter08/22/2020
Yellow Perch1-lb., 2.4-ozs.Toney Booker11/18/2017
Channel Catfish16-lbs., 7.5-ozs.Owen Knabe4/22/2018
Striped Bass40-lbs.Mike Steele3/24/2024
Shellcracker12.64-ozs.Todd Garner05/06/2023
Longnose Gar23-lbs.April Waldrop07/21/2023

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