News Releases

Vote for the Ultimate Fishing Town

News Release

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0520

For more than a decade, Florida has been recognized as the Fishing Capital of the World because of its great resources and responsible fisheries management. Now the World Fishing Network seeks to identify the Ultimate Fishing Town, USA. Two Florida communities - Kissimmee and Destin - are in the running, as a result of the network's national search to nominate and select the top 20 communities.

Between now and May 31, every Floridian can vote up to four times a day to ensure that one of these communities becomes the Ultimate Fishing Town. Go to www.WFNFishingTown.com to begin voting. WFN will feature the winning community in a half-hour promotional television show and provide $25,000 for a fishing- or boating-related project to benefit the local community.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) realizes the importance of recreational fishing not only to the overall quality of life and enjoyment of individual anglers, but also to the economy and job-creation.

"Helping our partners with Visit Florida to promote tourism to the world is a win-win situation," said Tom Champeau, director of the FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.

Unlike in many other countries, in the United States, fish and wildlife are held in public trust for all citizens. Anglers help pay for conservation of these resources by buying fishing licenses and paying to ensure quality fishing opportunities for themselves and future generations. By encouraging visitors to fish in Florida, we help fund not only conservation but also the amenities that make fishing more enjoyable and accessible, such as boat ramps and fishing piers for everyone. The lucky winner of the Ultimate Fishing Town, USA competition will have a tremendous new promotional tool and immediate funding to improve local fishing.

Destin is often referred to as the World's Luckiest Fishing Village. The 158 nominations for Destin highlight the quality of fishing from this Panhandle community, which features some of the most beautiful sugar-sand beaches anywhere. Among the quotes on the WFN site is this one, from John Sharpe, who said that, as a small boy growing up in Tennessee, "my favorite road trip was when my dad and brother and I would drive all the way down to Destin Florida."

Destin also received accolades for having the largest commercial fishing fleet in Florida and an annual Fishing Rodeo in October that began in 1948 and attracts more than 30,000 recreational anglers annually.

Kissimmee received 43 very passionate nominations to make it into the top 20. Here is one from Allan Oakley: "Great weather, no air pollution and a fishing season that lasts 12 months a year." He said it is a fisherman's "heaven on earth."

Kissimmee has hosted innumerable national bass fishing tournaments, setting records along the way, and it remains not only a fishing destination for tourists but also a home-town recreational favorite.

"This serene lake has been the home of people learning to fish" for many generations, said Leslie Andree in her nomination. "The lakes in Kissimmee have brought many memories to residents and tourists alike. Fishing is life for many people, from young children, to retired adults, and they all enjoy the life of the lakes."

All anglers who enjoy the opportunity to get outdoors and connect with nature at the end of a fishing line are invited to take a moment to vote for one of these Florida fishing communities. Perhaps soon, Florida will not only be the Fishing Capital of the World, but home to the Ultimate Fishing Town, USA.

For more information on the world of fishing, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing. To learn more about the Fishing Capital of the World, click on Visit Florida's Fishing Capital logo at the bottom of the FWC's home page.



FWC Facts:
The Florida Keys: The word "key" comes from the Spanish word cayo, meaning "little island."

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