News Releases

Florida Bass Conservation Center wins national award

News Release

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0520

(Back to Commission meeting news)

The American Fisheries Society, the nation's leading organization of professional fisheries scientists, presented a 2009 Wallop-Breaux Outstanding Project of the Year award to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Thursday at the Commission meeting in Lake Mary, near Orlando. The award recognized the Florida Bass Conservation Center in the Sport Fishery Development and Management Facilities category.

"The Wallop-Breaux program is an essential part of our country's effort to ensure quality recreational fishing opportunities for anglers," said Robert Curry, president of the AFS Fisheries Administrators Section.

Many anglers may know the Wallop-Breaux program as either Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration or Dingell-Johnson. By either name, it is the program that collects excise taxes and motorboat fuel taxes nationally and then allocates the funds to the states for sport fish restoration activities. How much Florida receives back is based on the size of the state and the number of anglers who paid for a Florida fishing license.

The Florida Bass Conservation Center is a hatchery and research facility in the Withlacoochee State Forest, near Webster, that is dedicated to ensuring the conservation of Florida's four native species of black bass: Florida largemouth bass, shoal bass, Suwannee bass and spotted bass. Fish raised at this facility are essential to maintaining populations throughout the state that are being challenged by habitat loss.

The FBCC was dedicated in February 2007 and was paid for in part by federal Wallop-Breaux and State Wildlife Grants money, together with state matching funds, and a Rural Economic Development Initiative grant. The site includes an interpretive area and public fishing pond and is open to the public during normal business hours.

For more information about the center and Wallop-Breaux, go to

FWC Facts:
Sunshine bass are bred at FWC hatcheries by crossing white bass with striped bass. Approximately 1 million sunshine bass are stocked in Florida each year.

Learn More at AskFWC