An estimated 75,000 Florida largemouth bass were dumped into Bay Springs Lake recently, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks reported.

The 3-inch bass were raised at MDWFP's Turcotte Fish Hatchery near Canton before being transported to the Tennessee-Tombigbee reservoir.

The fish were delivered to the boat ramp, then loaded into aerated livewells and coolers on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat and taken to coves with good habitat and dispersed by park rangers.

According to District Fisheries Biologist Jason Olive, transporting the fish to areas with good cover will increase survival of the stocked fish by helping them avoid predation by larger fish.

The Florida largemouth bass were stocked to increase the number of trophy-size bass in Bay Springs Lake.

"We can't stock enough fish in a lake the size of Bay Springs to make a real impact on overall catch rates, but we can introduce these faster-growing Florida bass that we think can really increase the number of trophy bass," Olive explained.

This is the third time Florida largemouth bass have been stocked in Bay Springs. The first time was in 1995. One of the largest bass ever caught in Bay Springs was a fish weighing nearly 14 pounds landed in 2007.

Biologists believe that fish was one of the survivors of that stocking.