Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management

Tom Champeau, Director
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management (FFM) promotes Florida’s well-earned title of “Fishing Capital of the World” and monitors freshwater fish populations and anglers’ use of the resource. A major effort recently engaged anglers and other stakeholders to develop a management plan for black bass that is providing anglers with the best bass fishing anywhere and expanding the $1.7 billion freshwater fishing economic impact for local communities. FFM has developed a private-public partnership to help fund this effort by implementing the TrophyCatch conservation and marketing plan, which uses citizen science to provide valuable information that contributes to the management of the resource. FFM provides fishing opportunities and publishes documents and articles promoting freshwater fishing in Florida. Special projects like the high school fishing program and fishing and boating camps encourage responsible fishing practices and help bolster future generations’ understanding of and personal investment in the conservation of fish and wildlife resources.


To manage, enhance and conserve Florida’s freshwater aquatic life for public benefit.


  • Evaluates resource characteristics, informs the public of resource conditions and incorporates stakeholder input to determine goals for freshwater fisheries resources.
  • Uses innovative and scientifically proven management strategies, including habitat enhancement, harvest regulations, public outreach and stock enhancement (stocking) to conserve or improve quality freshwater fishing opportunities.
  • Maintains fish management areas throughout the state to provide fishing opportunities for a diversity of anglers.
  • Provides technical services to public, state and federal organizations, universities and other interest groups about fisheries management issues, fishing opportunities, fish pond management, fish kills, boating access and other issues.
  • Encourages freshwater stewardship through instructional clinics, camps, publications, electronic media and fishing events.
  • Provides hatchery operations to produce dependable quantities of healthy freshwater fish to cost-effectively meet stocking program objectives.
  • Interacts directly with agencies having critical responsibilities for water quality and quantity and aquatic plant management to represent the needs of the fisheries and enhance habitat for freshwater fish and aquatic life.

Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management sections

Fisheries Management

The Fisheries Management section ensures the best freshwater fishing opportunities in Florida’s lakes, rivers and streams through stocking desirable sportfish, producing annual fishing regulations, enhancing habitats and maintaining fish management areas. Fisheries Management coordinates with stakeholders and federal, state and local entities to protect and conserve freshwater resources and maintain fishing quality. Fisheries management information and strong aquatic stewardship, ethics and ecology messages are communicated through publications, electronic media, fishing camps, seminars and events.

Hatchery Operations and Stocking

The state has two freshwater hatcheries: the Florida Bass Conservation Center at Richloam Hatchery and the Blackwater Fisheries Research and Development Center. They produce approximately 4-5 million freshwater fish annually, which are stocked in more than 100 Florida lakes, rivers and community-managed waters.


FFM budget summary

Funding Source FTE FTE salaries Other costs
FGTF   $2,372,435 $2,318,940
GDTF   $0 $200,000
LATF   $78,009 $1,200,009
NWTF   $0 $0
MRCTF   $0 $0
SGTF   $1,354,489 $1,060,782
GR   $0 $0
Total operating   $3,804,942 $4,779,731
Total budget 60.0 $3,804,942 $4,779,731

FWC Facts:
Almost all of the funding for FWC research and management of Florida panthers is provided by Floridians who purchase “Protect the Panther” license plates.

Learn More at AskFWC