• Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

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“Extremely rare” golden largemouth bass caught in Virginia river

"Extremely rare" golden largemouth bass caught in Virginia river
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A man made a surprising catch in a Virginia river: a golden largemouth bass considered to be “extremely rare” by the state’s wildlife department. 

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) said in a news release that Jacob Moore reeled in the largemouth bass from the James River near Chippokes State Park. Moore, who works as a arborist, said in a statement that he was practicing for a fishing tournament when he reeled in the special fish.

“When I hooked into that one, I thought I had a saltwater fish on at first, but lo and behold, it was a largemouth! A very different largemouth, though. I haven’t seen anything like that before. I’ve seen bass with black spots, but I’d never seen an albino one,” Moore said.

An “extremely rare” golden largemouth bass was caught in Virginia. 

Jacob Moore/Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

A photo taken by Moore shows the fish exhibiting a yellow hue. Alex McCrickard, a DWR aquatic education coordinator, said in a statement that golden largemouth bass are “extremely rare” and that most anglers have never seen or heard of them.

“The fish is a product of a genetic mutation that alters the skin pigments called xanthism,” McCrickard said. “Yellow pigmentation dominates in xanthism, as you can see in Moore’s golden largemouth.”

Moore returned the rare fish back into the water since it was only 16.5 inches long, and the local requirement to keep largemouth bass is 22 inches and 8 pounds. 

Largemouth bass, which is typically green with black spots, is a freshwater gamefish found throughout the U.S. 

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