BBMP Recreational Status

Recreational fishery status of black bass in Florida:

TohoTrophy.jpgIn Florida, black bass annually provide more than 800,000 anglers with more than 14 million days of healthy outdoor recreation and generate approximately $1.25 billion in economic impact for Florida (U.S. Census Bureau, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006).

In March 2010, BassMaster Magazine (Mccormick 2010) summarized the first 12 years of its Lunker Club applications, reporting that, "Considering the number of largemouth entries the Lunker Club has received over more than a decade, it's not surprising that more entries have been caught in Florida (514 lunkers reported; 27.2%) than any other state; after all, Florida's official state freshwater fish is the largemouth bass, which has ideal conditions and plenty of time to grow big and fat. Texas and California - the second (300) and third most commonly reported sources of lunkers - also offer ideal bass habitats."

BassMaster's top 25 bass (Ken Duke 2009) of all time now include 20 fish from California, two from Florida, two from Japan and one from Georgia. In both California and Japan, the bass are nonnative imports that came from Florida. Ironically, in Japan they are generally considered a nuisance fish. In California, the few deep artificial reservoirs (typically with limited, gated access and entry fees) that yield these trophy bass are heavily stocked with trout, the preferred sport fish in the region, which are great forage for largemouth bass.

As the agency tasked with managing the Sunshine State's aquatic resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people, we are creating an integrated, adaptive management plan for black bass, with the primary goal of ensuriing Florida is the uncontested "Bass Fishing Capital of the World." The Black Bass Management Plan will entail a coordinated effort with other governmental agencies and stakeholders, as well as better focusing FWC resources on priority tasks.

 

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