Too much of a good thing! That applies to many of Mississippi's public fishing lakes, when it comes to bass populations.

A generation of bass anglers conditioned to a catch-and-release philosophy have made releasing bass - all bass - the politically correct thing to do.

There is a strong argument to support their actions.

However, fisheries biologists have an equally strong argument that removing some bass is for the greater good of the fishery.

Overpopulation of bass slows growth. Removing bass under a slot limit or where no limits exist takes some pressure off the food source, allowing remaining bass to grow at their normal rate.

According to fisheries biologists from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks, there are cases where a mess of bass need to be kept to preserve the health and sustainability of the fishery.

This does not apply to every lake, but does extend to many across the state.

"It's all about growth," fisheries biologist Dennis Ricke said. "When the prey fish - the ones bass use as a primary diet - are in short supply, bass simply don't grow as fast as they should. Where the demand is too great on prey fish, bass growth falls below the desired rate.

"One solution to this is to remove some of the fish to allow the remaining fish a better opportunity to forage and grow."

According to Richie, electroshocking remains the best method of determining an accurate sample of fish, both predator and prey, in a lake. These samples, coupled with other data, allow the agency to regulate creel limits and slot limits (where needed) on state fishing lakes and other public waters.

And, while the statewide creel limit for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass is 10 (combined) more than 35 locations have seen the creel and slot limit modified to conform to best fisheries management policies.

Here is a look at a few of the lakes where the creel limit has been raised to 30 bass in an effort to better manage the bass population. In all, eight state fishing lakes and state park lakes have 30-bass limits.