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Technical Assistance Group (TAG) meeting for the development of the Black Bass Management Plan

Hello Stakeholders

Letting you know the first Technical Assistance Group (TAG) meeting for the development of the Florida’s Black Bass Management Plan will be on June 15th at the Bass Conservation Center near Brooksville, Fl.

We have assembled a great group of stakeholders, with lots of diversity consisting of several Professional Anglers, Marina Owners, Outdoor Writers, Bass Club Representatives , Conservationist and Tourist specialist.

This particular meeting is closed to additional (TAG) members, but is open to the public. This is why we have provided notice giving you ample time to send in your suggestions to the Florida Freshwater Fishing Coalition on what you would like or not like to see in the new black bass management plan. The plan is ours to design, let’s build it together for the future!

Please send all comment regarding the Black Bass Management Plan to bassplan@flffc.org

Thanks once again to all of our  conservation and recreation advocate partners!

“We are standing together to protect our fisheries”

Fishing Survey for NEW Florida Bass Management Plan

Dear Florida Angler,

Whether you are an occasional angler or an avid, whether you fish with a cane pole in your back yard or traveling to Florida “The Fishing Capital of the World” from afar, or if you have a business that depends on quality sportfishing–we want your opinion. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is developing a “Long-Term Black Bass Management Plan” and is interested in your input.

The following links provide some introductory material that you may want to review prior to taking this survey, but it is not critical that you do so. We mostly need your opinions to help ensure that we create a plan that addresses everyone’s concerns.

Background article published by Fish Busters’
First-Draft Black Bass Management Plan.
PowerPoint presentation (PDF 3 mb), first given October 2009 to the Florida Freshwater Fishing Coalition.
To take the survey click HERE.

Thank you for participating,

Darrell Scovell, Director

Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management

Florida's NEW Bass Management Plan

Lake Trafford stocked with 150,000 bass from FWC

April 21, 2010
Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will stock 150,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings in Lake Trafford, the largest lake south of Lake Okeechobee.  The 1,500-acre freshwater lake is an important resource for boating, fishing and wildlife-viewing.

Over the past few years, the lake has been the focus of a multimillion-dollar, multi-agency restoration project.  So far, participants have dredged the lake of 8 million cubic yards of muck that, in the past, triggered algal blooms and fish kills.  To date, the FWC has contributed over $3 million for dredging and re-vegetation of Lake Trafford.  Dredging could be complete by 2011.

As part of the restoration, the FWC will restock the lake with native largemouth bass on Thursday, April 22.  The agency will stock an additional 50,000 advanced fingerlings about four weeks from now. These fingerlings are from the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Richloam.

“We are working to re-establish a self-sustaining, healthy fish population in the lake,” said FWC freshwater fisheries administrator Barron Moody. “We anticipate that this stocking, and a similar effort planned for next year, will bring about the return of largemouth bass fishing to the lake.”

An 18-inch-minimum-length regulation for largemouth bass specific to Lake Trafford is in effect in anticipation of these stockings and to protect the fish from premature harvest.  For complete freshwater fishing regulations, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing.

Fishing license sales help pay for stocking and other bass conservation efforts. Currently, the FWC is offering freshwater anglers a special value-added bonus package when they upgrade to a five-year or lifetime freshwater fishing license.  For details, visit MyFWC.com/License.

In addition, the FWC is seeking angler input on the proposed draft Black Bass Management Plan. To learn more and complete a survey, go to MyFWC.com/BassPlan_Survey.

The Inaugural Annual Open Meeting News


Tom Champeau FFWC Fisheries Administrator

Our first annual meeting kicked off with twenty-one stakeholders present, eager to hear the latest FLFFC news and progress since the last meeting in March.

FLFFC President Todd Kersey started things off by bringing everyone up to speed on the accomplishments which included, organizing and creating a non-for-profit corporation, a website, regular business meetings and operations, scheduled partnership conference calls, and a fully functioning “office” that processes and publishes the partnership organizations’ profiles and freshwater-issue positions.

FWC Regional Fisheries Administrator Tom Champeau, presented the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s plan to create a Florida Black Bass Enhancement Program that would be a “long-term” management plan spanning from 2010 – 2030.

Tom’s presentation, titled “Ensuring Trophy Bass Forever”, provided data that demonstrates that the Florida trophy bass populations have been in decline since the 1970’s. Even though “catch and release” is practised nationally in bass fisheries, here in Florida overharvesting of trophy-sized bass has occurred in many of the prominate fisheries. So the current regulatory approach along with angler harvest preferences could be affecting growth and survival rates of the larger bass.

The overall objective of this plan is to engage the public to develop strategies and projects that will improve bass fisheries and provide more opprotunities to pursue trophy bass.

The anglers and non-anglers’ attitudes, concerns, and desires, are the “critical” component in forming elements of the plan statewide in the numerous types of freshwater fisheries.

One goal the plan seeks to accomplish is to motivate anglers to report trophy bass catches for validation and recieve recognition through media programs and publications.

Other goals are;

  1. To form a “Florida Bass Advisory Council” by March 2010 made up of stakeholders.
  2. Hold public workshops to advance plan-development stages in strategic fishery areas throughout 2010
  3. Promote the plan’s progress and status using media, publications, websites and events during 2010.
  4. Finalize the plan and present it to the FWC commissioners for approval by February 2011.

The plan’s development will be completely transparent and all are welcome to become enthusiatically involved in examining the current approaches used, and the possibilities of how, or if, that should change, and what new strateiges should be considered for implementation.

This is a total joint grassroots effort. The FWC, stakeholder individuals and organizations, as well as all levels of lake-management government, and generally any “fishery-dependent” business, organization, group, or individual, are all encouraged to get involved in the formation of Florida’s first trophy bass program.

After the morning FWC Black Bass plan presentation the FLFFC participating partners hosted a “Stakeholder’s Roundtable” event where ideas, questions, comments, suggestions, and criticisms, where put on the table for group evaluation, strategy formation, and if possible, tentative conclusions of how to approach the drafting of the plan.

After four hours of aggressive interaction, one central issue emerged as essential in achieving success–a hydrilla management plan must be established because it is “the main challenge” in most of our fisheries. The eradication strategy must be replaced with adaptive management strategies–that allow areas of hydrilla to exist within stakeholder-determined locations.

Also the large-scale treatment events should be replaced by more frequent small-scale management events which would achieve the goal of resticting wide-expansion while preserving key hydrilla habitat for spawning and summer cover.

Many other important issues were presented for consideration. A Minutes File of the meeting will be provided soon, along with the FWC Power Point Presentation and the FWC’s conclusions of what the roundtable forum produced.

Please check back here during the week of November 8th for all the news and information. Our first annual meeting was a great success and the start of an essential important process of uniting Florida’s angling-interest community and working together to create Florida’s first trophy bass program.

FWC-Dennis Renfro, Facilitor-Perran Ross, FWC-Dale Jones

FWC-Dennis Renfro, Facilitor-Perran Ross, FWC-Dale Jones