If you look back thru the years of SAL there have been numerous 13+ fish that didn't make 24"
Indeed that's the case, typical for a Texas caught, Florida strain bass, short and fat, kinda like me....
There was a time when the genetic makeup, other than strain, was not as easy to determine and not as important in the overall hatchery/stocking plans as it is now. My theory is that for whatever reason, the initial group of Florida bass brought to Texas and produced in hatcheries, was a "short" variety. This is what keeps being propagated and used, in some cases, especially in the past. In other cases, there is a great effort to not be putting "inbred" or inappropriate strains into our public waters from hatcheries.
I have personally caught DD bass in parts of Florida, especially Rodman Reservoir/Ocklawaha River that were 27"+, but a bit "long and thin" looking compared to the typical "pot bellied" DD Texas caught bass.
There might be a pic somewhere in this box.....from way back then, but doubt I could figure out how to get it up here for ever'body to see. I'll give 'er a try if somebody wants...
Especially when stocking a lake or pond, but also in the bigger, public sector, genetic diversity is as important, if not more so, than strain. If breeding animals, like fish, even bass, think...."Long Florida Bass frame" X "Deep bodied Texas grown, genetically isolated, short bass" to get a long bass with a deep body and a lot of genetic diversity to boot.
The SAL program has been a tremendous public relations success.