Alabama Bass Trail Forms Collaborative Research Partnership with ADCNR and Auburn University

February 4, 2019


CONTACT: Kay Donaldson, Program Director

PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 855.9FISHAL


Alabama Bass Trail Forms Collaborative Research Partnership with ADCNR and Auburn University

 Decatur, Ala. (February 4, 2019) – The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series (ABTTS) is pleased to announce it has formed a three-year collaborative research partnership with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and Auburn University to analyze the genetics of bass fish found in Alabama rivers and lakes.

Exceptional-sized trophy bass populations drive angler excitement and help sustain Alabama’s well-earned reputation as a big bass fishing destination. The ADCNR Freshwater Fisheries Division actively manages the state’s rivers and reservoirs to ensure healthy and sustainable bass populations, strategically enhancing fish habitat and stocking superior bass genetics to improve angler success. The impact of these efforts can often be best seen in the bags of tournament anglers fishing Alabama Bass Trail events.

To assess the effects of stocked Alabama bass in a reservoir, the ADCNR will enlist the help of some of the best anglers who frequent Alabama Bass Trail tournaments. Beginning this year, ADCNR is funding a three-year collaborative research project with Auburn University to analyze the genetics of bass caught during an ABTTS event. Using cutting-edge genetics techniques, the lab of Dr. Eric Peatman at Auburn will analyze the genetic profile of bass DNA obtained through a quick, non-invasive tongue swab taken during tournament weigh-ins. The results will provide a valuable look at what genetics are contributing to winning bags and outstanding bass in Alabama waters stretching from Pickwick to Eufaula, as well as allow ADCNR to assess stocking success, monitor annual trends and quantify regional variation in bass populations. Integrating genetic data with ADCNR’s established B.A.I.T. program will, ultimately, help better guide future stocking and management decisions.

“The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series is proud to partner with Auburn University and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources on this three-year study. Our team is excited to have these researchers and students onsite at all of our events in 2019 collecting valuable research data. This is one small way we can help monitor and maintain the health of our beautiful lakes,” said ABT Program Director Kay Donaldson.

The research project is made possible through funds raised through the sale of the popular Freshwater Fishing distinctive license plate (GET ONE!). For more information on how to purchase a license plate, visit

For more information about the study, call Donaldson at 855.934.7425. For more information on the ABTTS including a tournament schedule, visit

About Alabama Bass Trail

The Alabama Bass Trail is a program of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. Its mission is to promote Alabama as a year-round fishing destination, to preserve natural resources for generations to come, and to educate high school and college-aged students to be good stewards of natural resources. The 13 bass fishing lakes consist of Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Weiss Lake, Lake Martin, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Jordan, Alabama River, Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. For more information, visit