Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management

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

The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management promotes Florida’s well-earned title of "Fishing Capital of the World" and monitors freshwater fish populations and anglers’ use of the resource. FFM engages anglers and other stakeholders to develop management plans for lakes, rivers and 80 Fish Management Areas, providing anglers with the best fishing anywhere and expanding the $1.7 billion freshwater fishing economic impact. FFM has developed a private-public partnership through the TrophyCatch conservation and marketing program, which uses citizen science to provide valuable information that contributes to the management of Florida’s trophy bass fisheries. Special projects such as 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.

Mission

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

Strategies 

  • 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 80 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.
  • Manages aquatic plant habitat and interacts with agencies responsible for water quality and quantity 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. FFM 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, youth 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

 

$2,410,538

$1,868,505

GDTF

 

$0

$138,926

LATF

 

$79,261

$775,009

SGTF

 

$1,376,252

$451,024

GR

 

$0

$0

Total operating

 

$3,866,051

$3,233,464

Total budget

60.0

$3,866,051

$3,233,464



FWC Facts:
Biologists estimate 10,000-14,000 sturgeon live in the Suwannee River. Adult populations in other Gulf Coast rivers range from a few hundred to about 2,000.

Learn More at AskFWC