No shoal bass this week

In addition to healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass, Lake Eufaula is one of the few places on earth that is home to shoal bass.

But no shoalies will be brought to the scales during this week’s DEWALT Bassmaster Elite at Lake Eufaula — and here’s why:

Shoal bass populations are considered vulnerable due to a lack of the rocky shoal-type habitat they need to reproduce.

While it’s legal to possess up to 10 shoal bass on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River that forms Lake Eufaula, it is illegal to possess them at all in several tributaries on the Alabama side of the river. For this reason, to avoid confusion, many tournaments held in the area simply do not allow shoal bass.

Shoal bass, which are olive green to nearly black along their backs with cream-colored bellies, are a gorgeous fish that sometimes grow to a decent size in the Chattahoochee. They always turn heads when they’re brought to the weigh-in scales.

But it won’t happen this week.