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New Bass Species Could Create Dilemma for IGFA, Opportunity for Anglers

February 3, 2010 2 comments

Is Bryan Shishido's World Record Fish an Alabama Bass or Spotted Bass?

Is the current world record Spotted Bass really a Spotted Bass?

Yesterday I wrote about how the American Fisheries Society is expected to recognize the Alabama Bass as a distinct and unique species later in 2010.  This opens a can of worms in regard to the existing International Game Fish Associattion (IGFA) Spotted Bass record.

The existing record of 10 lbs o4 oz is held by Bryan Shishido.  The fish was caught 4/21/2001 from Pine Flat Lake in California and is recognized by the IGFA as the World Record for Spotted Bass, Micropterus punctulatus.   But is the fish really a Spotted Bass?

If California Department of Fish and Game stocked fish from the Mobile Basin, then that fish is probably an Alabama Bass, Micropterus henshalli.  It is widely believed that the California Department of Fish and Game introduced fish to Pine Flat Lake containing Mobile Basin genetics.

All that is left of the Mr. Sishido’s catch are photographs.  Because the Alabama Bass and the Spotted Bass look so similar, it will be difficult for biologists to definitively identify the species based on photographs.  Obviously, the fish is no longer available for genetic testing.

“Assuming genetic testing is the only way to tell the species apart, it could be problematic for the IGFA” says Jason Schratwieser, Conservation Director of the IGFA.

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