TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) - Hundreds of inch long hybrid striped bass were poured into a tank at the Steve Cocke Hatchery, where biologists said that 2016 has been a great year for their production.
"It's a sterile fish. It's a cross between a striped bass male and a female white bass," said Ga. Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Supervisor Rob Weller.
The biologists cross the fish in Richmond Hill, bring the fry they produce to ponds in Terrell County, where they grow to about an inch, and are now called fingerlings.
On Friday, biologists used nets called a seine to harvest them from the pond and transfer them to a tank.
Then took them into their fish house, where they were weighed. This spring the harvest is going to be close to 2 million, a great year for producing the very popular sport fish.
"This fish is very aggressive. They are easy to catch," said Weller. "They fight hard, and they taste good. So yes, they are a great fish."
By spring these fingerlings will be six to eight inches long. By next spring, a full pound, and 14 inches long. Then they become an important part of Georgia's tourism, with people coming to fish in Georgia lakes and reservoirs to catch them.
"That's one of our goals. Is to increase sport fishing in Georgia. And by providing and enhancing our fisheries is one way we can help do that," explained Weller.
There were about 100 thousand hybrid striped bass harvested in about a half hour Friday morning, produced to be a sportsman's dream within a year.
On Friday those fingerlings were on a truck headed for Lake Hartwell, where they would be released on Saturday.