Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management

Tom Champeau, Director
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
850-488-0331

Mission: To manage, enhance and conserve Florida's freshwater aquatic life for public benefit.

Benefits

  • 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 quality fishing opportunities that appeal to 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 freshwater-related 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, which are to enhance habitat for freshwater fish and aquatic life.

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 fully integrated and adaptive management plan for black bass that will provide resident and tourist anglers with the best bass fishing anywhere and expand the current $1.25 billion economic impact for local communities. FFM is working to develop a private-public partnership to help fund this effort by implementing a TrophyCatch angler recognition and marketing plan.

FFM sets management practices, provides fishing opportunities and publishes documents and articles promoting freshwater fishing in Florida. Special projects encourage responsible fishing practices and a lifelong love of freshwater fishing. Special projects like the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and the Get Outdoors Florida! Coalition encourage responsible fishing practices and help create the next generation that cares.

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 sport fish, regulating harvest, 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 a strong aquatic stewardship, ethics and ecology message 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 a dependable quantity of size-specific, high-quality freshwater fish, which are stocked annually in more than 200 Florida lakes, rivers and community-managed waters.

FFM budget summary

Funding Source FTE FTE salaries Other costs
FGTF   $2,641,107 $2,591,249
MRCTF   $0 $134,000
SGTF   $1,311,305 $1,936,287
CARLTF   $44,849 $74,251
Total operating   $3,997,261 $5,365,657
Fixed capital outlay   $0 $0
Total budget 69.5 $3,997,261 $5,365,657

Glossary of funding sources



FWC Facts:
The coastal waters off Florida and Georgia are the only known calving area for North Atlantic right whales.

Learn More at AskFWC