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 seeks public review and comment on the first draft of the Plan to contribute your input, go to MyFWC.com/BassPlan_survey.
Conserving and managing freshwater fish in Florida represents more than good fishing and eating. The economy benefits as well because Florida produces many of the world’s best bass fisheries. Bass anglers spend more than 14 million days each year 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 MyFWC.com/BassPlan_survey.
Public input from the original survey was reviewed by a Technical Assistance Group (TAG) representing a variety of stakeholders, such as avid anglers, tackle shop owners, lure manufacturers, tournament anglers, fishing guides, outdoor writers, university researchers and tourism destination marketers. Subsequently, fishery biologists, law enforcement officers, research scientists and program administrators made their best effort to flesh out a series of action items to implement proposed solutions to problems identified by the public. They also provided some background to document the current situation and tools available to fisheries biologists to improve bass fishing enjoyment, and added other references sources. Some of the more complex issues have a pro-con dialogue available to help inform the public how complex some of these management issues are that must 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.
Till next time tight lines and good fishing….
From Staff Writer BASSonline – email@example.com
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