A fish that lives on the move for most of its short life span that has never caught on as a popular game fish at Sardis Lake comprises 99 percent of a recent fish kill reported Sept. 17 at the North Mississippi flood control project.
White bass have suffered the third such die-off in recent years, according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The previous two were attributed to columnaris, a disease caused by naturally occurring bacteria.
Biologists will be studying the fish found in the recent kill to see if it is related to the disease, which they say is tough on the vulnerable white bass due to its life cycle.
“White bass are a ‘live-fast, die-young’ fish,” said MDWFP fisheries biologist Keith Meals. “They rarely exceed 4 years old and are subject to many infections.”
White bass are native to the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries, including the Tallahatchie River that feeds Sardis Lake. It is also found in Grenada and Enid Lakes, two more of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control reservoirs in North Mississippi.
The white bass is a fun fish to catch, and are good table fare. There is no daily limit on them in Mississippi. Most of the fishermen who do chase white bass catch them in their annual run up river in the spring or in the late summer and fall when they can be found blasting schools of shads on the main lake points.