Check out the Texas ShareLunker program.
In 1986 the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center established the ShareLunker Program, which aims to promote a catch-and-release ethic in Texas waters for trophy bass by selectively breeding large bass.
Check out this video from Texas Parks and Wildlife for more info.
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Here’s how the ShareLunker Program works
Hook a bass over 13 pounds (may be easier said than done). Contact Texas Parks and Wildlife and alert them to your lunker.
You can call TWPD or drive the bass into the weigh-in facility yourself. They then extract the special genetics from the large fish and breed more trophy bass and release them back to the water.
Your original fish caught is also released back to the water, but you’ll be provided with a life size replica to take home.
What’s the point?
Basically, the point is to breed more large bass and promote a conservation mentality with trophy catches. For the sake of the sport, there are now bigger and better bass in Texas waters for anglers.
Between 2005 and 2011, more than 575,000 offspring produced in the ShareLunker Program were released into public and private reservoirs for research and recreation.
The type of fish that are selectively bred are Florida bass, which were introduced to Texas in 1970s and are known to grow larger than Northern bass. If a trophy bass is brought to a weigh-in center and is not of the Florida origin, the bass may not be selected for spawning, and will be immediately returned to its original body of water.
Weigh-in stations are located across Texas at 11 different lakes and reservoirs. The list can be found on this page.
The ShareLunker Pogram is unique to Texas for now. More information can be found at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center website here.
What do you think about the ShareLunker Program? Is it too artificial? Is it good for anglers and Texas waters?