"Bass are/were commonly stocked in many waters. I randomly picked Waukesha county and then Vilas county to get a gauge for waters both south and north and within the first 4 or 5 lakes I looked at in each county there was record of LMB stocking having been done. Its more common than you think"
Exceptionally misleading comment there that points people beyond what the truth actually is. The argument here is that they are the least stocked game fish in the state, and stockings are rare, which is the truth. I went through every single lake in both Vilas and Waukesha counties and basically what I found is that that post would only be legit if it were still the late 70's, or at least the 90's which was the end of the bass stocking experiment.
In Waukesha county roughly 80% of all water bodies have never seen a bass stocked (80 listed with only 17 ever seeing bass stockings). Even more telling is the fact that since 2000 there has been exactly one stocking of bass. That was in Big M in 2001 (there have historically been more pike and even walleye stocked than bass in Big M). Since 2001 there has been ZERO bass stocked anywhere in Waukesha county's waters.
In Vilas county the numbers were even more dramatic. Here 88% of lakes have NEVER in history seen a single bass stocking, with exactly one stocking after 2000. 262 lakes listed, only 32 ever saw a bass stocking in history. That last stocking was Robinson lake, 2002.
So since 2002, or the last 12 years, there has not been one single bass stocked in either Vilas or Waukesha county, despite your claim that "its more common than you think"...its CLEARLY not...its actually LESS common than one might think. Stocking reports you posted show this.
If you really look at the dates, the 70's were the time when bass were stocked the most. There was a slight resurgence in the 90's, but if you look at the numbers, most of those later stockings were actually quite small, very often consisting of less than 1000 fish and not repeated, with many of those lakes only stocking 3-500 total bass. The last of those stocked bass in these counties are near the end of their lives, IF they managed to live this long, and the vast majority of bass ever stocked are long dead.
When going through the stocking reports for every lake in those counties its clear as a bell that bass are in fact the least stocked game fish (actually the least stocked fish listed). Down south pike comprised the biggest stockings, up north its walleye and musky, with trout being stocked inland in heavy numbers and a wide variety of places (where do inland trout lie on the state's list of popular fish...at the bottom I would bet).
Yeah, there IS a "record" of bass stockings, but its not in the present, its in the historical records of the past.
Again, our bass fisheries are booming, self sustaining and do not benefit from a closed season. Bass limits are being lifted in many places to attempt to reduce their (so often) exploding numbers. Bass popularity may be behind walleye, but its ahead of all the other game fish, and unlike walleye, there are far more lakes conducive to bass than there are conducive for walleye in this state.