FWC seeks public comment on Black Bass Management Plan
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0520, ext. 17245
To conserve and improve Florida's premier freshwater fisheries
for residents and visitors, the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) has been working with the public to
develop a long-term Black Bass Management Plan. The FWC now seeks
public review and comment on the first draft of the plan.
Conserving and managing freshwater fish in Florida represents
more than good fishing and eating. Our economy benefits as well,
because Florida produces some of the world's best bass fishing.
Each year, bass anglers spend more than 14 million days here and
generate $1.25 billion for the state's economy.
The plan is still in a formative stage and very flexible. During
the past six months, FWC staff sought public input to identify
issues and possible solutions to incorporate into this first draft.
Nearly 5,000 people completed the first survey or spoke with FWC
biologists. However, none of the proposed actions are final. Public
guidance will assist in the addition, deletion or refinement of
appropriate management actions for the next several decades. For
more information and to contribute your input, go to
Responses to the original survey were reviewed by a technical
assistance group representing a variety of stakeholders, such as
avid anglers, tackle shop owners, fishing lure manufacturers,
tournament anglers, fishing guides, outdoor writers, university
researchers and tourism-destination marketers. Next, fishery
biologists, law enforcement officers, research scientists and
program administrators drafted a list of solutions to problems
cited by the public. They provided background information to
document the current situation and tools available to fisheries
biologists to improve bass fishing enjoyment. Some issues have a
pro-con dialogue available to help the public understand their
complexity and the need to accommodate multiple users. These
include issues like hydrilla management, fish stocking, tournament
rules and fishing regulations. The result was the first working
draft of a Black Bass Management Plan.
The survey is in outline format, and participants can comment on
sections of particular interest, read a more detailed account, or
skip areas where desired. The entire draft Florida Black Bass
Management Plan is available for downloading or for online
The FWC welcomes continued public input and will accept comments
through Oct. 18. The technical advisory group and FWC staff
will discuss the additional input to create a more refined plan,
for further public review.
"Together we will make Florida the undisputed 'Bass Fishing
Capital of the World,'" said Tom Champeau, director of the FWC's
Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.