Recreational fishery status of black bass in Florida:
In 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.