News Releases

Temporary harvest rules to take effect at Medard Reservoir

News Release

Friday, December 28, 2012

Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-648-3852

Temporary fishing regulations at Edward Medard Reservoir in Plant City, which allow limited harvest of freshwater sportfish and other species, go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31. This is the first time the harvest of sportfish will be allowed since the reservoir was drained for a flood-control project and then re-flooded in 2010.

The executive order issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be in force while the agency considers designating the lake as a fish management area, with its own special set of rules designed to maintain the quality of its fishery.

The new rules put into effect all statewide freshwater fishing regulations with the following exceptions:

  • The largemouth bass bag limit is five, only one of which may be 16-inches in total length or longer.
  • No person fishing recreationally may use any gear other than hook and line or rod and reel to take or possess game and nongame species.
  • People with a commercial fishing license may use cast nets to catch nongame fish other than channel catfish from 12:01 a.m. Tuesdays to 12:01 a.m. Fridays.

The special regulations are needed to protect the lake’s new fishery, into which the FWC has stocked more than 1.2 million fish.

“Largemouth bass, crappie and catfish populations at Medard Reservoir have made a much quicker recovery than anticipated, thanks to our aggressive stocking program,” said Bill Pouder, FWC regional freshwater fisheries administrator. “In addition, bass anglers should be excited to find we’ve stocked a substantial number of adult largemouth bass from another local reservoir undergoing renovation.”

For more information about fishing at Medard Reservoir, contact Paul Thomas with the FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management at 863-648-3811.

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