FWC presents draft for black bass management plan
October 19, 2009
Contact: Darrell Scovell, 850-488-0520 (FWC) or Todd Kersey, 954-771-3682 (FLFFC)
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will introduce a concept for a new black bass management plan on Oct. 26 at the Florida Freshwater Fishing Coalition meeting in Orlando. The plan addresses the long-term needs of this group of sport fish, which includes Florida largemouth, shoal, spotted and Suwannee basses.
Black bass are the most popular recreational fish in the world. In Florida, they provide 822,000 anglers over the age of 16 with 14.7 million days of healthy outdoor recreation and generate more than a billion dollars in economic impact for Florida, according to the 2006 National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
The FWC seeks public input at the unveiling of the draft plan. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the Orlando Bass Pro Shop’s conference room during the inaugural meeting of the Florida Freshwater Fishing Coalition. FLFFC is a partnership of freshwater fishery organizations and anglers, representing a cross-section of businesses, nonprofits and individuals, who have a stake in ensuring the future of Florida’s outstanding freshwater fisheries. Collectively, they want to learn about and discuss lake management issues, fisheries data and research, so they can provide an informed voice to achieve the coalition’s vision. Their mission is “To serve as a coalition of freshwater fishery organizations and anglers to protect our rights by providing representation in Florida government on pertinent issues that affect recreation and conservation.” For more information, visit http://www.flffc.org/
“The FLFFC is ecstatic to be able to discuss Florida’s black bass management plan with the FWC at our inaugural meeting. The FLFFC and its partners are faced with many issues, including access, habitat protection and water quality,” said Todd Kersey, FLFFC President. “We feel developing a plan to protect the most popular fish in Florida will go a long way in helping these issues and preserving the state’s title as “Fishing Capital of the World,” which is critical to Florida economy.”
The FWC’s Black Bass Management Plan will ultimately provide the blueprint to ensure Florida’s recognition as “The Bass Capital of the World,” said Darrell Scovell, FWC’s director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.
If you’re interested in representing a fishery-dependent business or organization or are an avid angler with time to commit to helping the coalition, please visit FLFFC.org to reserve a seat and to provide input and guidance to the FWC on this comprehensive and innovative new plan. During the afternoon session, FWC staff will host a roundtable forum to solicit stakeholders’ thoughts, reactions, ideas and suggestions to help craft the final draft that will be presented to FWC commissioners in December.
The public also may provide input at MyFWC.com/fishing. Sign up for the FWC’s stakeholder newsletter “FWC 4-1-1” by selecting “Contact FWC” and then “FWC 4-1-1” from the left-side popup menu.