The famous Uncle Homer retired in Florida to spend time pursuing trophy bass. Scarcely a month before his passing at age 97, he caught this 11-pounder in Rodman Reservoir.
This 9,000 acre impoundment of the Ocklawaha River located 15 miles south of Palatka is well-known for its bass and crappie fisheries. As with many fisheries in Florida, ensuring that the value of recreational fisheries is recognized and considered in land and water management planning is one of the major action items identified in the 2011 Bass Management Plan.
On February 21, 2012, the Florida Defenders of the Environment and the Florida Wildlife Federation provided the United States Forest Service a notice of their intent to bring civil action in federal district court against the USFS for alleged violations of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and its implementing regulations. In response to this action, the USFS has reinitiated a Section 7 consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service to assess activities associated with authorization, function and maintenance of the Kirkpatrick Dam in regard to potential impacts to the manatee, Atlantic sturgeon and/or other species.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Department of Environmental Protection and St. John’s River Water Management District have been requested to assist in the consultation process by providing technical assistance to the USFS and USFWS in regard to information requests and their interpretation. Federal agencies project that the consultation process could take up to two years to complete.
The FWC will use science-informed decision making that takes into account the multiple interests of people as it consults on this important issue. Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people is the mission of the agency, and both sides of that mission will factor in to the complex equation of providing objective input into this process.
For more information, contact biologist Steve Shea, 850-617-9471; Steve.Shea@MyFWC.com.