Wanted dead, not alive: errant bass caught in Anchorage's Sand Lake

Excerpt from the wanted poster published online by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The...
Excerpt from the wanted poster published online by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The fish, a juvenile bass, was caught in Sand Lake in Anchorage, and doesn't belong there. (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 6, 2018 at 12:41 PM AKDT
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Earlier this week, someone fishing at Sand Lake pulled up a juvenile bass at the end of their rod. Officials believe it was put there illegally.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, the fish in question doesn't belong in Alaska waters, and the researchers are now trying to find out how it got there and if there are more present in the West Anchorage lake.

“This is the first time we’ve learned of bass in Sand Lake,” stated Fishery Biologist Kristine Dunker in a press release. “Our primary concern at this time is to determine if there are others, and more importantly, if there is evidence of a reproducing population."

In a social media post, the department asked for the public's help, writing, "ADF&G needs your help. We are asking anglers who fish at Sand Lake to be diligent and closely monitor the fish you catch."

They continued to say that no species of bass are native to Alaska, so the fish was illegally introduced to Sand Lake. That post can be viewed below:

Update: Genetic testing in the fall of 2018 conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks in confirmed it to be a...

Posted by ADF&G - Sport Fishing Southcentral Alaska on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The department also specified not to release questionable fish back into the water. The bass, and any fish that don't look like native species, are wanted dead, and not alive.

"Over the next several days ADF&G staff will be concentrating their efforts on Sand Lake to evaluate if other bass are present, and if additional efforts will be needed to remove them," Dunker said.