Officials have released 18,000 "fingerlings," or young Guadalupe bass into the South Llano River, bringing to 175,000 the number restocked in a remote corner of West Texas.
Wednesday marked the final day of four weeks of restocking of fish that are between 1.5- and 2-inches long in the river near Junction, Texas.
It's part of an effort to preserve the state fish's genetic purity after it began crossbreeding with the smallmouth, an Arkansas bass which state authorities introduced in 1974 to bolster fishing.
The smallmouth and Guadalupe bass produce a hybrid fish that may not survive in Texas habitat over the long haul.
Similar restocking efforts have succeeded in largely restoring the pure Guadalupe bass population in the Guadalupe River, farther to the east, where crossbreeding problems were more pronounced.
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