SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Sharelunker program has produced some of the largest Largemouth Bass fish in the state. This year, between the program’s fish entry dates of January 1 – March 31, 15 of the 18 Bass turned in, came from O.H. Ivie.

San Angelo District Fisheries Supervisor Lynn Wright says, “The goal of the Sharelunker program is to promote bass fishing, to recognize anglers for their amazing catch and then to improve bass genetics in our reservoirs.”

The program takes fish caught that are above 13 pounds, brings them to Athens, Texas for spawning season, then are returned to their home water.

“We had 15 share lunker entries come out of O.H. Ivie this year. Those fish were donated by anglers and taken to the Texas Parks and Wildlife hatchery in Athens Texas and those fish were spawned. Once the spawning is complete, we bring them back to the lake and release them and a lot of the anglers that catch the fish, they come back and release their own fish a lot of the times right where they caught them.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife attributes low water levels until 2018 and the rise since for creating a survival of the fittest conditions, leaving the biggest and strongest large-mouth bass to flourish in Ivie’s waters.

With the bass back in their home waters and their spawn to be placed there as well, the Inland Fisheries division at the Texas Parks and Wildlife says they expect to see more big bass in the future.