Partnership brings 300,000 Florida bass to Kentucky Lake

PARIS, Tenn. — Counties partner to improve the ecosystem for fishermen at a local lake.

Henry County and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency partnered to place 300,000 Florida bass fingerlings in the Paris Landing State Park.

“The purpose of this is to help the quality of the fishery. It will help the fishery to become stronger, have better bass. They will interbreed with the northern strain bass that we have and make a heartier species in the area,” said Drew Williams, with the Henry County Tourism Authority.

Henry County contributed $50,000 and Benton County contributed $25,000 for the fish.

Monday, the first batch of 150,000 fish were placed in the lake. The rest will be placed in a few days in different areas of the lake.

“Kentucky Reservoir is primarily northern mouth bass and these [Florida bass] will mix with [northern strain] when they sprawl. And that first fish produced will produce a bigger fish,” said Tim Broadbent, the Regional Fisheries Manager for the TWRA. “So what we’re trying to do is improve the size of the bass in the population and also the genetics of the bass in the population.”

Paris Landing State Park Manager Zach Tinkle says he hopes this project will boost tourism.

“Fishing is a big part of what the community does here, and it’s a big part of what visitors to Paris Landing do here. So we’re excited about this project and making the lake more productive and more opportunities for the fisherman,” Tinkle said.

“Kentucky Lake is the biggest part of our tourism, and we want to keep it thriving and attracting people from around the nation to vacation here,” Williams said.

Additional counties have decided to join in and contribute dollars of their own to the project.

These additional fish will be placed in June.

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