FWC Freshwater Blog at Florida Sportsman


Trophy-Sized Bass with a Past

We (FWC biologists) are offering Florida bass fishermen a revised version of an age-old adage. “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it could be 13…pounds that is.” What we are referring to are largemouth bass, and in particular, one monster that had nearly grown to the 13 pound mark.


Researching Regulations

Can we change regulations to promote a stronger trophy bass fishery in this state? That is a good question. I’m glad you asked. The angling culture is changing; subsistence angling for bass is not as common as it use to be and everyone seems to be gunning for that trophy.


TrophyCatch & Tagging Studies

This basically goes without saying in the Sunshine State, but big bass are a big deal. Trophy bass provide a big part of the identity and draw of our state’s bass fisheries. Florida is often touted as The Bass Fishing Capital of the World, and trophy-sized bass play no small role in this reputation.


Crappie Questions

Well, its fall…at least it is while I am working on this blog… and the cooler weather it ushers in brings out anglers on the hunt for black crappie. Just so happens, fall is also when FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) biologists are doing the bulk of their sampling.


Another Year, More Fish to Catch!

The Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (Holt County) and the Florida Bass Conservation Center (Sumter County) have completed their annual freshwater fish hatchery production for FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management (DFFM) for Fiscal Year 2013-2014.

FWRI researcher measuring a largemouth bass collected during a routine electrofishing trip.

Working Over Time

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Freshwater Fisheries Research section began a Long-Term Monitoring Project for Florida’s lakes in 2006. Our primary objective is to track freshwater fisheries trends over time, using standardized methods that ensure the integrity of the data collected across the state.


Orange Lake Bass Fishery Gets a Boost

More than 102,000 genetically pure Florida Bass now call Orange Lake home after the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management completed their scheduled released of young of the year bass into the now full lake.

A FWRI biologist with a tagged bass from the Lake Eustis tagging study.

Tag—You’re It!

Reward tag studies allow biologists and anglers to work together in the data collection process. These cooperative studies help strengthen the conservation process. In these studies FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) biologists tag a specific number of fish in a lake or region.

Hatchery bluegill fry

FWC Bream Stocking Well Underway

Bream (sunfish) stocking is in full gear at the Florida Bass Conservation Center, the state’s largest freshwater fish hatchery located just south of Webster in rural Sumter County. 


Fish Attractors

Have you ever been fishing and wished there was a sign saying right where the fish are? Well, fish attractors and the buoys that mark them are intended to do just that.


E-Tournaments “Catching” On

One of the primary goals of FWC’s new TrophyCatch program is to decrease fishing mortality of trophy-sized bass through the promotion of catch-and-release. This conservation philosophy has been popular with bass anglers for years, and has now been adopted by Major League Fishing for competitive bass tournaments.

Hatchery production 2012-13

3.5 Million Fish — Waiting For You!

Annual freshwater fish hatchery production for FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management has been completed for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013). The hatcheries had another exceptional year.

Advanced and natural sized bass

Talquin stocking bolstered by “advanced” advantage

Bass are being stocked into Lake Talquin to supplement weak year classes of bass resulting from limited aquatic habitats.  All bass stocked in 2013 have been “micro-wire tagged” with a small metal tag for future identification.

Leroy the alligator gar

Nothing but the Tooth

by Justin Hill I have been inundated with phone calls, emails, and telegraphs for more science. Apparently my last blog…»

Biologist holds a Merritt's Mill Pond quality largemouth bass

Merritt’s Mill Pond a Sleeper Hit

Spring time is electrofishing season (I posted that blog last time… go read it after you read this). Our field biologists spend a lot of time on many of Florida’s water bodies, and they know which lakes are currently looking good.

Photo of FWC hatchery biologists holding striped bass

Circle of Life

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists recently collected adult striped bass from the Blackwater River, for use in Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (BFRDC).